SAN ANTONIO – A fire that sent up plumes of thick, black smoke across downtown San Antonio Wednesday morning destroyed a local business that had occupied that space for decades.
According to San Antonio firefighters, the business called Cold King had existed in that same location, near Buena Vista and Comal streets, for nearly 40 years.
Shortly before 7 a.m., firefighters were dispatched for a report of a fire inside what they initially believed was an abandoned warehouse.
“But it turns out it was a small business operating inside this warehouse, some sort of walk-in cooler or refrigeration business,” said Woody Woodward, a public information officer for SAFD.
The business was closed at the time. Still, firefighters say they quickly learned the someone was there anyway.
“We did have one individual that is known to the owners of the building that regularly sleeps inside the building,” Woodward said.
Fire crews helped that man to safety. They say he did not suffer any injuries.
They also do not believe he had anything to do with starting the fire, Woodward said.
While the warehouse is located in an out-of-the-way area, a few blocks from the Bexar County jail, the fire drew attention from people downtown and beyond.
At one point, the smoke and flames could be seen for miles.
“I myself, was driving into Public Safety Headquarters, which is right over here across the way, and I could see the heavy flames,” Woodward said.
Firefighters were able to knock down the fire within about an hour.
However, it caused major damage to the building.
Woodward said because of all the damage, investigators may not be able to determine the exact cause of the fire.