A major structure fire erupted at a residential property just north of West Beauregard Avenue Sunday afternoon. It appears to be a duplex at 14 and 16 N. Monroe. Responding to the scene are four pumper trucks, including Engine 6, Engine 25, and two additional. Ladder 1 is also on the scene, along with fire rescue and two ambulances.
The San Angelo Fire Department responded quicky and extinguished much of the fire.
There is no information whether or not anyone was inside the residences as of yet. We will have updates as the story unfolds.
Update 3:24 p.m.
According to a witness at the scene, a man was seen running from the structure carrying burning cushions in his pajama bottoms.
Update 3:35 p.m.
The fire is mostly out. Nothing but smoke appears from the exterior of the duplex. Firefighters are clearing out the inside, seeking smoldering pockets of heat and flame.
Update 3:47 p.m.
No injuries reported, though no one has officially confirmed that. Engine 4 is leaving the scene. The fire is extinguished.
Update 4:47 p.m. (Final)
Battalion Chief Fred Barnett said that the San Angelo Fire Department arrived in full force to combat this fire. There were three fire calls ongoing simultaneously: This fire, a dumpster fire, and a car fire in front of the Marble Slab ice cream store on Sherwood Way near the Cinemark Theater.
A TV reporter pried, asking if the fact that since the firefighters were not at the fire station, was their response to this fire was delayed? “It did not delay our arrival since we were already on the street. We actually got here faster than we would have otherwise,” Barnett said.
When the firefighters arrived minutes after the call that went out at 3:03 p.m., the duplex was completely engulfed in flames. “The fire was knocked down in about 10 minutes,” Barnett said. There are three simultaneous fire investigations ongoing, so the fire marshal stopped by as the 23 firefighters were getting the blaze under control, and will be back as he makes the rounds.
Barnett said, according to the only occupant of the two duplexes, that the fire started behind a couch in the living room of the north side unit. The occupant was in the kitchen, saw smoke, grabbed a fire extinguisher, and tried to put the fire out before it spread. His efforts weren’t enough, however. He was seen running from the duplex front door of his unit with a flaming couch cushion.
After the flames on the exterior of the duplex were extinguished, Barnett said that firefighters ascertained the soundness of the structure. Once determined sound, they entered, looking for remnants of fire or heat. In the meantime, Engine 7, which is unique to the fire department in that it is the only unit that can dispense foam, was dispatched to the scene. The outside air temperature was 100 degrees without the fire, and he knew his men needed relief. A foam capability at the scene could relieve some of the manpower.
San Angelo EMS setup at rehab unit as a precaution, Barnett said, to take care of heat-related injuries of the firefighters. No firefighters were hurt, however.
A family pet, a cat, was found deceased inside the building. Barnett said two dogs were reported to have been in the south unit of the duplex, but no evidence of them has been found.
In the north duplex, a boyfriend/girlfriend live together. A single female lives in south duplex and she was not there when the fire broke out. Only the boyfriend was in the building when the fire broke out, according to Barnett. There were no civilian injuries.
The dumpster fire was minor compared to this one. The car fire at the Marble Slab turned out to be an engine fire. Both were extinguished quickly.
More information on this fire may be available after the fire marshal’s investigation.