Neighbors anxious to help couple who lost home in explosion, fire

Explosion triggered by car hitting gas water heater, firefighters say

SAN ANTONIO – Neighbors of a couple who lost their home in an explosion and fire Tuesday night are anxious to help them.

The home, located on a street called Ferris Creek, burned to the ground.

RELATED: Car in garage explodes into flames, injures woman in home on Northwest Side

The man and woman who lived there not only lost all their possessions, but the woman suffered serious burns on her face, hands and chest.

Some neighbors have taken to social media to discuss ways to help.

“They just walked out with the clothes on their backs,” said Holly Perry, who lives down the street. “On our neighborhood Facebook page … someone put (the man’s) size out there. I’m sure he’s going to have clothes bought for him today.

Perry was one of several people who stopped by the site, now a pile of burned rubble, to look at the damage in the daylight Wednesday.

The last time she passed by the area, the house was engulfed in flames.

Perry said she was at a meeting when the home exploded and burst into flames.

With about a dozen fire trucks on her street, she had trouble getting home to her 91-year-old mother.

San Antonio fire investigators believe the man who lives in the home drove into the garage too quickly.

They say the car hit a water heater, dislodging it and causing a gas leak.

That then led to the fire and explosion, they said.

“It’s a freak accident, and we probably couldn’t duplicate this if someone had a million dollars on the table,” Perry said, looking at the destruction. “It’s obviously a total loss. It’s just terrible.”

While battling the fire, firefighters had to struggle to keep the flames from spreading to other nearby homes.

At one point, parts of the burning home collapsed, causing damage to the home next door.

No one inside that home was hurt.

Firefighters say the driver also escaped injury.

At last check, his wife remained in a hospital where she was being treated for her burns.

Perry said the incident has her and some of her neighbors a bit concerned about whether her water heater also may pose a danger.

However, a spokesman for SAFD said the type of explosion that happened in that neighborhood is rare.

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.