San Antonio Fire Department partners with city council to promote fire safety

Fire deaths are up nationwide, not just in the city of San Antonio.

San Antonio Fire Department partners with city council to promote fire safety

SAN ANTONIO – After an increase in fatal fires, San Antonio Fire Department is working with the city council to create fire safety plans for each district.

Fire deaths are up in the city of San Antonio, with 11 people having lost their lives this fiscal year.

Last year, there was a total of 10 fire-related deaths.

The latest death was connected to a fire in the 4300 block of South Flores on Monday. The charred exterior of the home and yellow tape stand as a grim reminder.

“God bless his soul. We miss him already,” said John Dominguez, who lives up the street from where the fire happened.

Dominguez said he remembers seeing the victim daily.

“He’s a real good, nice man,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez’s sadness is reflected in Joe Arrington, a San Antonio Fire Department spokesperson.

“Losing a home -- losing, you know, stuff is is horrible, but losing a life should never happen. And if we can prevent that, then that’s what we’re going to do,” Arrington said.

SAFD rolled out its new SCAN initiative last month.

SCAN stands for the following:

S - Smoke detectors

C - Clearing the path for escape

A - Action plan

N - Neighbors

“We’ve got to ask for the community’s help with working with City Council districts to enroll their folks,” Arrington said.

SAFD is in the beginning stages of working with city council members to address their individual district needs.

Two of the most recent fires, one at an empty day care center and the other on South Flores, happened in Phyllis Viagran’s district.

“The target of our older homes, our 70-year-old-plus homes, is getting out and helping them to make sure that they’re they have those smoke detectors that work and they have a path to get out of the home,” Viagran said.

Fire crews have already gone door-to-door this week to hand out smoke detectors to homeowners living along South Flores. The house next door to the one that caught fire Monday took one.

“The requests for smoke detectors are high. Whether it’s via 211 or the FireSafe SA website, there are quite a few. It’s surprising how many there are, but that’s why we’re here,” Arrington said.

Viagran is also pushing for door hangers with SCAN information because her district skews older and isn’t as tech-savvy.

“It’s going to take a community effort to get these numbers down because they’re too high right now,” Viagran said.

If you or your loved one needs a smoke detector, you can call 211 or click here.

About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.