‘Squatters’ had been in and out of West Side home that burned, firefighters say

Cause of fire on Buckskin Drive still under investigation

San Antonio fire investigators are trying to determine whether someone had a hand in starting a fire that destroyed a vacant West Side home.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio fire investigators are trying to determine whether someone had a hand in starting a fire that destroyed a vacant West Side home.

They say no one, technically, was living at the home in the 7400 block of Buckskin Drive.

However, neighbors reported seeing “squatters” on the property for some time.

“We do know that there wasn’t electricity or gas to the house for about a year,” said Battalion Chief David Prado with SAFD. “I can’t say whether it’s intentional or not, but I can tell you that there were people in and out of that house.”

The home in the 7400 block of Buckskin continued to smoke hours after the destructive fire broke out. (KSAT 12 News)

Neighbors noticed the flames and smoke shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday and called 911.

Cassandra Medina, who lives across the street, captured video of the huge fire on her cell phone and shared it with KSAT 12 News.

Firefighters were not sure exactly how long the fire had been burning prior to the time when people noticed it.

They believe it started in the kitchen, got into the attic and spread throughout the house before they were able to knock it down.

While they were battling the fire, a woman who said she co-owned the home with her ex-husband, showed up in tears.

She spoke briefly to KSAT 12 News, saying she was devastated by the loss of the home.

A huge hole opened up by the flames offers a view clear through to the backyard. In this photo, you can see fire investigators inside, looking for clues. (KSAT 12 News)

Firefighters say she also told them she was not able to locate some pets that she had on the property.

“She said that she possibly had a couple of dogs in there, but we did a quick search and we didn’t find any dogs,” Prado said.

Firefighters were concerned initially about the fire possibly threatening a home next door, but they were able to keep it from spreading.


About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.