Firefighters have trouble navigating apartment north of downtown with ‘too much stuff’ in it

3 adults, infant escape fire in building

SAN ANTONIO – Three adults and an infant all are looking for a place to stay temporarily after a fire broke out in their apartment building just north of downtown on Thursday morning.

More than a dozen fire trucks raced to the 400 block of W. Magnolia just before 7 a.m.

RELATED: Residents escape fire at apartment building north of downtown

Battalion chief Andrew Frawley says crews found fire coming from a first floor apartment that appeared to be unoccupied but was cluttered with items.

“We were trying to find the cause, but at this point, we don’t know,” he said. “There’s too much stuff in there. They’re having to go through too many layers of debris.”

Frawley said four people who were in the building at the time all managed to escape safely.

More than a dozen fire trucks raced to the 400 block of W. Magnolia after fire broke out in an apartment there. (KSAT 12 News)

Monica Sutton, who was among them, said she feels lucky that she and her husband happened to be awake at the time.

“We were watching a show and it ended and we just happened to notice the sound,” Sutton said. “So my hubby ran out to see what was going on and just started screaming, ‘Wake up! Get up!’”

Sutton said what her husband saw was fire down the hall, and what they heard was a smoke detector going off, only not in their apartment.

“There’s supposed to be one by my bedroom door, outside my bedroom door and somewhere by the front door but there isn’t on,” she said.

A spokesman with the San Antonio Fire Department said he wasn’t able to comment on which unit had smoke detectors. He said the investigation is still going on.

While Sutton also said she was concerned about the fire easily being able to spread throughout the building, firefighters were able to keep it contained to just the unit where it started.

“It didn’t extend up into the second floor. It didn’t go into the attic or anything like that,” Frawley said.

CPS Energy crews were called in to turn off the electricity to the building during the fire.

However, Frawley said once the power is back on, most of the people should be able to return home.

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.

Santiago Esparza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.