Rain complicates explosion investigation on far Southeast Side

One victim identified as Rojer Huron Jr., 36

SAN ANTONIO – Rain has complicated an investigation into an explosion that killed four people on the Southeast Side over the weekend.

The medical examiner’s office identified two victims as 36-year-old Roger Huron Jr. and 28-year-old Ashley Autobe. Officials have also released the ages of the other two victims, one of whom is a 61-year-old man and the other a 57-year-old man.

Nicholas Paz, who heard the explosion, said he saw first responders heading to the scene.

“All I heard was a boom. I don’t know what it was, you know? So I took off to work, and then I saw when I came back,” he said.

Paz said it happened just down the road from where he lives.

“I was concerned about it because I didn’t know what it was, because I got my girl. She’s handicapped,” Paz said.

Investigators said the explosion happened in an underground concrete structure that goes down about 10 to 15 feet in an area next to construction company K-BAR.

The ATF and FBI are assisting the San Antonio Fire Department with the investigation, which was complicated by rain on Saturday and Sunday.

The fire department’s update on Sunday said, “The blast site became flooded with rainwater that required pumping out before investigators could continue.”

Officials said the rain created deep mud on the flood-prone property, where large equipment became stuck.

A KSAT crew saw Public Works units still pumping water on Monday.

The fire department also explained that explosion investigations are more time-consuming because evidence and materials have been shot into the air and scattered across the dense property.

SAFD is considering looking in a nearby pond for evidence.

Hazmat teams are at the scene for air quality control and to ensure no explosion pollutants are compromising the oxygen levels for investigators.

Fire department officials confirmed that they would update the public at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.


Death toll rises to 4 in major explosion on far Southeast Side, SAFD says

About the Author:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.