Lightning suspected in fire that injured 2 people, killed pets

15 families at ICON apartments displaced by fire

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio fire investigators suspect that lightning may have sparked a fire that roared through a North side apartment building, leaving two people injured, more than a dozen displaced and several pets dead.

Firefighters responded to calls about the fire in the 1300 block of Patricia Avenue just before 3 a.m. Thursday.

RELATED: Massive apartment fire injures 2, forces dozens from their homes, SAFD says

When they arrived, they say they found the second floor of a building at the ICON apartments, engulfed in flames.

However, fighting the fire, temporarily, had to take a back seat.

“We had multiple people on balconies needing rescue so the first-in companies were involved in getting people off balconies,” said Asst. Chief Neal Ague with SAFD.

Fire crews found huge flames already consuming the second floor of the apartment building in the 1300 block of Patricia. (KSAT 12 News)

Ague says one woman who was rescued suffered some minor burns. Another was injured when she jumped from her second-floor balcony.

Both were taken to a hospital, although Ague described their injuries as non-life-threatening.

“We lost a couple of pets in the fire,” he said. “We pulled out a couple of pets (alive).”

Other people, meanwhile, escaped the fire on their own.

Richard Daigre smelled smoke and wasted no time in leaving his ground floor apartment, even though the fire, at that point, was still on the second floor.

A firefighter continues pouring water on what is left after the building hours after crews put out the flames. (KSAT 12 News)

“I opened the door and all I heard was, ‘Evacuate!,” he said. “I ran back inside and got my girlfriend and two dogs and boogied on out the door.”

Later, he returned to find that, although the fire never reached his home, it did sustain quite a bit of water damage.

Firefighters say all 16 apartments in the building were affected either by the flames, smoke, or water. All but one of them was occupied at the time of the fire.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross assisted members of the apartment complex’s staff in relocating most of the people who lived in the building, firefighters said. “More than likely we’re going to be in a motel somewhere,” Daigre said.

However, he said he hoped he would be placed in a different unit at the same apartment complex within a few days.

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.