SAN ANTONIO, Texas – A Northwest Side apartment that was supposed to be vacant suddenly had fire moving into and through it late Thursday night.
The fire broke out after 10 p.m. inside one unit of the AmberHill apartments, then quickly spread into the building’s attic.
Once there, the flames and smoke began seeping into other apartments at the complex, located near Loop 410 and Evers Road.
Firefighters say the apartment where it started had been boarded up for some time prior to the fire.
Crews worked throughout the night, putting it out and then repeatedly seeing it spark up again.
“I didn’t think it was going to be that messed up. I thought this fire was little,” said Derrius Dixon, who lived in a second-floor unit.
Dixon says early on, he heard a knock on his door but did not realize that he and his neighbors were being urged to evacuate.
A short time later, he says smoke began filling his apartment, temporarily trapping him.
“(I) came out to my balcony and, kind of, hung out there,” he said. “But the fire department saw me. I guess you could say they rescued me.”
Dixon says fire crews used a ladder to help lower him to the ground.
When the fire broke out, he was preparing for a night out with friends.
In spite of the fire, Dixon says he went through with his plans to “take his mind off” what was happening.
He returned home later and salvaged what he could — only a desktop computer.
“My cousin’s room is trashed. My brother’s room is trashed. Everything in the apartment’s trashed except for my room,” Dixon said, taking stock of the damage.
He hoped to stay with either friends or family for a while.
However, the fire left Dixon and some of his neighbors wondering what they will do long-term.
As of late Friday morning, fire investigators had not announced the cause of the fire.