Massive fire rips through warehouse full of stuffed animals, leads to closure on Hwy 181, officials say

No injuries were reported

A massive grassfire swallowed a warehouse full of stuffed animals and led to a temporary closure of US Highway 181 in southeast Bexar County, according to county fire officials.

The fire happened around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 11700 block of Hwy 181. It’s unknown where the fire originated, but it spread to a warehouse at the Aztec Estates Mobile Home Park.

The warehouse was filled with stuffed animals, which only fueled the fire even more, according to Bexar County ESD 10 Fire Chief Robert Hogan.

An estimated 50 firefighters from multiple departments tackled the flames and used ladder trucks. However, a limited water supply, low humidity and high winds created challenges for fire crews.

Highway 181 was closed in both directions for a limited time, so firefighters could get more water to supply the fire trucks, according to Hogan.

“I know it frustrated a lot of people, but we were running out of water to be able to supply two ladder trucks,” he said.

Residents in homes near the fire were not ordered to evacuate, and no injuries were reported, according to fire officials. It took fire crews about an hour and a half to get the flames under control.

The warehouse is a total loss. Hogan said there is suspicion that the fire may have originated in a BBQ pit, but the cause is still unknown.

The flames also destroyed multiple RVs, trailers and watercrafts, according to Hogan.

The fire marshal’s office is investigating.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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