SAFD: Wheelchair-bound man narrowly escapes west side house fire

The man told first responders that he smelled the smoke and was able to make it out using a side door.

SAN ANTONIO — A wheelchair-bound man who smelled smoke was able to escape from a fire that destroyed a home early Monday morning, officials say.

San Antonio firefighters responded to the 200 block of San Horacio near Old Highway 90 around 1:15 a.m. for reports of a fire.

Living inside the home was 57-year-old Steven Ortiz, who says he escaped through a side door in his electric scooter and then called for help.

By the time crews arrived, the fire had spread from the front of the house to the back.

“[I] was watching TV in the room, and that’s when I started smelling the smoke,” Ortiz said.

The house was completely torched and covered in black ash. Officials say the home is a total loss and damages are estimated to be around $70,000. After reviewing the damage, Ortiz says he’s lucky to be alive.

“My brother, my sisters, me… We were all born in that house,“ Ortiz said.

The American Red Cross has reached out to Ortiz to help him. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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