Firefighters urge using caution after burning candle causes fire in Northeast Side home

Family of 4 escaped, but pet dog killed in fire

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio firefighters are urging caution when it comes to using candles after a family lost their Northeast Side home to a candle-related fire.

“It’s not a good idea to have candles lit when no one is home,” said Battalion Chief Mike Garcia with SAFD. “Even if you are home with a candle, try to make sure it’s away from any other combustibles.”

RELATED: Fallen candle likely cause of fire at Northeast Side home; family bulldog killed, SAFD says

In the case of the Tuesday morning fire, four people were home at the time.

All of them escaped safely when their home, located in the 13400 block of Bret Harte, went up in flames just before 7:30 a.m.

Garcia said two other residents, both children, had left for school already.

Four members of the family were home at the time and escaped, but a pet dog died. (KSAT 12 News)

He said it appears the fire started in a garage that had been converted into a room for one of the family members.

“(He) smelled smoke, got up, there was a fire going on,” Garcia said. “He had candles in the room. He thinks that may have been the start of the fire.”

It left the garage gutted.

Garcia said the rest of the attached home sustained either smoke or water damage.

“There were no injuries. We did lose a dog that was inside the house,” he said.

According to San Antonio police officers who arrived first and helped the family escape, there also was a pet bird that survived despite being in the room where the fire started.

Peggy Jones, who lives next door, worried for a while that the fire would spread to her home.

“The smoke was on top of my house, so I thought, ‘Oh my goodness! It’s coming over on us too,’” she said.

Jones and her family left their home as a precaution while fire crews worked feverishly next door.

In the end, they kept the fire from spreading.

Jones said she feels sad about what happened to the home of her neighbors, who have lived next door for years.

“Whatever happened and everything, that wasn’t on purpose, you know? It was an accident,” she said.

Firefighters say they hope to prevent any more of these types of fires by encouraging people to be careful with open flames.

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.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.