SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio fire investigators believe a fire that broke out Friday morning inside what was supposed to be a vacant house was started by people who may have been trying to keep warm.
Someone in the area near the 200 block of Jesse Street noticed the fire after 6:30 a.m. and called 911.
RELATED: Early-morning fire at vacant home likely caused by homeless people trying to stay warm, SAFD says
When fire crews arrived, those flames already had broken through the roof of the small house.
“The rear portion of the house had the severe fire, so the walls collapsed and all that was left was a big oven and chimney,” said Captain Robert Sepulveda, describing the scene.
Firefighters managed to avoid getting hurt by the falling building and quickly put out the fire.
Sepulveda said that all indications are that someone had gotten inside the abandoned building, perhaps in an effort to get out of the cold.
“The first units arrived and said it was a vacant house that reportedly had been used by homeless people,” he said. “It was a cold night so I would probably say so.”
This is just the latest fire recently that has been attributed to people inside buildings where they should not be.
One of the largest fires like this destroyed the former Midnight Rodeo early on the morning of November 2.
Investigators said at the time that it appeared homeless people also had been living inside the permanently-closed Northeast Side bar and started that fire.
Joseph Arrington, a public information officer for SAFD, said there is a concern that an expected drop in temperatures next week could bring an increase in these kinds of fires.
However, he said the potential for danger also extends to people who have homes, particularly those who use space heaters to keep warm.
He encouraged people to review the home heating safety tips on SAFD’s website, firesafesa.com.