SAFD suspects homeless people started structure fire at vacant West Side home

'We have seen this several times this week,' SAFD says

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist, Mark Mendez - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - The city's homeless population is suspected of starting Thursday morning's structure fire at a vacant home on the city's West Side, according to the San Antonio Fire Department.

Fire crews responded just after 10 a.m. to the home in the 500 block of South Nueces Street for a report of a structure fire.

Joe Arrington, a spokesman for the Fire Department, said when crews arrived, the structure was heavily engulfed by flames, primarily coming from the back of the home.

Homeless people have been known to frequently trespass and live inside the affected vacant home, Arrington said.

"We have seen this several times this week where our homeless population are getting inside abandoned homes and starting fires to stay warm or for cooking," Arrington said. "This appears to be the same situation."

While firefighters aggressively attacked the fire and were able to knock it down within 20 minutes, the home was heavily damaged.

"We remind people that if you do own property that is vacant, make sure it is sealed up and secured well. We don't want to keep seeing this happen," Arrington said.

No injuries were reported, Arrington said.

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