Wind spreads fire, three homes burn on West Side

Fire crews required additional manpower and resources to battle flames

By Alicia Barrera - Multimedia Journalist, Jason Foster - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - A two-alarm fire forced six people out of their homes Friday morning on the 2500 block of Menchaca Street on the city's West Side. The fire started in the back of a single-story home and quickly spread to two other homes due to the winds.

"When you've got 20-plus mile per hour winds, it's basically a blow torch," said fire chief Charles Hood. 

A second-alarm was called due to lack of resources.

"There was no way we could fight it offensively with the amount of fuel load that we had or the manpower that we had available," said Hood.

Of the six victims, two were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.

According to Hood, the entire block was at risk due to the structures being older and close in proximity. Two of the affected homes were in the same lot.

"When you're looking at an add-on house, you're looking at multiple layers of roofing, extra wall and a lot of things that you may not find in your traditional fire," said Hood. "It's taking us a long time to get through that second home that was built up."

Arson investigators are determining if the homes had smoke detectors as well as what caused the fire.

Multiple agencies were on-site to offer aid to the fire victims.

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