Apartment building a total loss after massive fire on Northwest Side

The building held about 20 units; SAFD had challenges with wind, elevation, supply and fire hydrants

A fire destroyed an apartment building on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023, at The Frederick Apartments in the 4800 block of Gus Eckert Road, near Fredericksburg Road. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A three-story apartment building on the Northwest Side was destroyed due to a large fire on Sunday night, according to San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood.

The fire was reported at 8:45 p.m. at The Frederick Apartments in the 4800 block of Gus Eckert Road, near Fredericksburg Road.

Hood said the building, which held about 20 units, is a total loss.

Residents have been evacuated and so far, there have been no reports of injuries or missing people.

WATCH BELOW: SAFD Chief Hood gives update on massive fire on Northwest Side

Hood said the fire was “really advanced” when firefighters arrived, adding there were challenges with wind and water supply from fire hydrants.

Some fire hydrants near the building were ineffective, he said, so fire crews had to use hydrants at a lower elevation. The challenge was pumping the water up to the complex.

He added the fire was “dynamic” and “fast-paced,” as South Central Texas is experiencing an elevated fire risk.

There were concerns about flames spreading to other buildings, he said, but the fire has since been contained.

“We’re going to be here for several hours, mopping up, making sure that the rest of the building is secure,” he said. “We did have some collapse challenges with this building so it’s very unstable.”

The building was not completely cleared, as firefighters had to go defensive on the flames.

“We’re going to have to go in at some point in time and do a secondary search on that third floor and the rest of the building,” he said.

Hood said VIA buses will transport displaced residents, and authorities are trying to find them shelter for the night.

“A lot of people here have lost all of their belongings,” he said.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

This is the second multiple-alarm fire that SAFD responded to on Sunday. At noon, authorities said a person started three fires on the West Side, resulting in five buildings being damaged.

This is a breaking news story and KSAT has a crew at the scene. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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About the Authors

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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