NE Side apartment residents retrieve items after complex destroyed by fire

Villa Rodriguez Apartments on Nacogdoches Road to be demolished

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter, Azian Bermea - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - It was an emotional day Wednesday for some apartment residents on the Northeast Side as they prepare to see what was once home knocked down to rubble.

The Villa Rodriguez Apartments in the 3200 block of Nacogdoches Road is set to be demolished after fire ripped through the complex Sept. 4.

Oscar Castillo said his mother was in her apartment the night of the fire, but was unaware of the danger. 

Related: Mother says she could only grab her daughter before flames engulfed apartment

"That night she was on the phone, police kicked the door in and told her there was a fire. She didn't know," Castillo said. 

Castillo's mother got out safely, but her belongings stayed behind.

Residents on Wednesday had the chance to return to the complex to ask for crews to retrieve their property. Only small items were allowed to be retrieved, which Castillo said he and his family were hoping to get back.

"We cared more about this, our pictures when we were kids," Castillo said. "This is when we were kids. Good memories, pictures we don't have like that anymore. That's all we have."

Related: Apartment residents displaced after 3-alarm fire on NE Side

Crews were able to retrieve old photos that Oscar says are very valuable to his mother and his entire family. 

"This is me right here, and this is my oldest brother, Ray," Castillo said while pointing at photos. "Henry passed away, my baby brother passed away, and so did my dad. These are the only memories we have of them."

After living at the complex for three years, Castillo's mother is now staying with family.

"We're happy that at least my mom got to get the memories back," Castillo said.
 

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