Massive 2-alarm fire destroys boarded-up apartment building just north of downtown

Fire was called in just before 1 a.m. in 700 block of Baltimore Ave.

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio firefighters are working to determine the cause of a 2-alarm fire at a boarded-up apartment building just north of downtown early Wednesday morning.

Fire crews responded just before 1 a.m. to the 4,300 square-foot building, which is in the 700 block of Baltimore Avenue, not far from Interstate 35.

Joe Arrington, a public information officer with the San Antonio Fire Department, said firefighters arrived to find heavy flames coming from the building, which was boarded up but also appeared as if some people were still presently living there.

Firefighters said the fire likely started in the lower portion of the building, and that the people living inside were mostly on the upper portion. There were no reports of any injuries.

The SAFD said holes in the bottom floor made fighting the fire from the inside extremely dangerous, so they got out and tried an aerial attack, which was then able to put out most of the flames.

“The dangerous structure here with the holes in the floor hampered our ability to get in and make an offensive attack that’s why we had to go defensive on it,” Arrington said.

A nearby recreational vehicle and some cars were also damage by the early-morning fire. Firefighters however, were able to make sure the fire did not spread to any nearby apartments or any other nearby structures.

According to the San Antonio Fire Department website, as many as 30 units answered the call.

“Obviously it’s going to be extensive damage to this older structure here. It was a very large, very stubborn fire,” he said.

The cause of the fire is not currently known. A fire investigation team is working to determine what exactly sparked the blaze.

A damage estimate to the building was not given. Arrington confirmed the apartment home will be completely demolished by the end of the day for safety purposes.

About the Authors:

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

Allysa Cole is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in September 2022. She previously worked in the Rio Grande Valley at KGBT, KRGV and Azteca Valle. She started her career at WHPM FOX23 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, after graduating from University of Southern Mississippi. Allysa is a Detroit native.