‘I didn’t know what to do’: 12-year-old wakes to flames in bedroom of North Side apartment

Everyone in apartment got out safe, but family says they lost everything

SAN ANTONIO – Ten people have been forced out of their apartments after a fire broke out in a North Side complex overnight.

It happened at the Oak Hills Place Apartments, near Northwest Military and Lockhill Selma Road.

The fire started in the bedroom of 12-year-old Izabella Aguirre.

“I was asleep on my bed and the fire was getting close to my bed so I didn’t know what to do,” Izabella said.

But Izabella knew exactly what to do: she ran to get her uncle in the room next to hers, and by the time they came back with the fire extinguisher, her bed had gone up in flames.

Izabella, her mother and uncle all made it out safely.

By the time firefighters arrived around 3 a.m. they said flames were coming out of Izabella’s bedroom window and that the fire was spreading to the family’s loft area and then into the building attic.

The San Antonio Fire Department said they were able to contain the fire damage to one unit and the attic. Seven other people have been forced out of their units with minor damage, but they will be able to return in the near future.

Izabella and her family however, will not be able to return home, with the fire destroying their apartment. They lost everything.

“All of her baby stuff, mostly we are going to figure out if it’s still there, but hopefully, but for the most part it was all the memories and stuff,” Joshua Aguirre, Izabella’s uncle said. “A lot of pictures, a lot of documents we might have lost.”

Izabella’s uncle is grateful that a bible and one very important box was untouched, one that held his last memories of his grandparents.

“They passed back in 2015, and (it is) just some of their last rosaries and things they had left us,” Aguirre said. “Just something we’ll always cherish. A lot of memories they gave us. We really praise God, we really think they were looking over us tonight. It was really a matter of seconds that things could’ve turned for the worse.”

Izabella is now hopeful, with a mature outlook.

“As long as we are out. Everything that stuff in there, it was just stuff that I liked,” Izabella said. “I can always replace it. I can always go buy new things. A new chapter can start anywhere,” she said.

About the Authors:

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.