2 people critically injured in apartment fire north of downtown, SAFD says

46 residents placed in hotel; 15-20 rescued from their balconies, chief says

SAN ANTONIO – Two people were hospitalized in critical condition and multiple people were rescued from their balconies during a fire at an apartment complex north of downtown, according to San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood.

The call was reported in the 900 block of Huisache at the Blanco Apartments complex on Tuesday night.

Hood said the fire started in a unit on the third floor. He said the cause was unknown, but initial fire department reports show the fire started on a mattress in a bedroom on the third floor, according to Opportunity Home San Antonio, which operates the complex.

The fire caused a lot of smoke to fill the building, forcing tenants to their balconies for fresh air, Hood said. They were not able to use the hallways to exit.

Hood said crews used a ladder to rescue a 98-year-old woman and 15-20 people on the second, third and fourth floors.

“A lot of times for us it’s very dangerous to take someone off a ladder because you have to calm them down. From my understanding this 98-year-old lady, she was very calm coming down those stairs,” Hood said.

Units on the third floor had smoke damage, but only one unit was affected by the fire, according to Michael Reyes, a public affairs officer for Opportunity Home.

Watch Hood’s news conference below:

SAFD cleared every room for carbon monoxide and worked with Opportunity Home to find housing for those displaced.

On Wednesday, Opportunity Home said they placed 46 residents at a hotel overnight.

Displaced elderly residents are in need of toiletries, according to Reyes. People who want to donate toiletry items can drop them off at 818 S. Flores during business hours.

“Opportunity Home staff are providing meals and reaching out to the American Red Cross for assistance,” he said. “Opportunity Home staff will remain with the affected residents until they can safely return to their units. We do not have an estimated time when that will be at this time.”

About the Authors

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and KSAT.com includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

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