High Rise Fire Displaces San Antonio, Texas Residents

Dozens of residents at a high rise building on the city's southeast side are awakened by smoke alarms.


SAN ANTONIO --

About 70 residents of a high rise apartment complex were displaced in a fire early Wednesday on the city's southeast side.

No injuries were reported at the 12-story Fair Avenue Apartments in the 1200 block of Fair Avenue.

Most of the residents were sleeping at 3 a.m., when smoke started to fill the seventh floor hall. The smoke was coming from Rey Clardy's apartment. Clardy said that he was hanging out with friends on another floor when he smelled the smoke.

"I put my hand on the screen door handle and it was hot... so I didn't open it up," he said.

Residents in the building were awakened and shaken by smoke alarms going off.

"I woke up and I smelled smoke and I thought, 'What's going on?' So I ran to my kitchen because I thought something was on fire. And I opened my front door, and saw smoke coming out, so I ran."

Firefighters helped elderly and disabled residents living on the 6th, 7th and 8th floors to safety.

"I was running through the apartment scared, so I just grabbed some clothes, ran out the door and called 911," said Clyde Thomas, a resident.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading, but seven rooms on the 7th floor sustained smoke and water damage.

The San Antonio Housing Authority, which managed the apartment complex, will help residents find a new place to live, including Clardy, who lost everything but the clothes he was wearing.

"The thought of having to start over from nothing is devastating," he said.

Arson investigators have not yet determined a cause of the fire.

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