SAN ANTONIO - Three men are dead and another remains in critical condition after a group home for the disabled went up in flames.
The fire started shortly after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Amistad Residential Facility on West Norwood near San Pedro. Thirteen mentally-challenged men were living in the facility. According to San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood, one of the victims told them he saw the fire coming out of a downstairs closet. The fire then quickly spread to the second floor of the home.
Chief Hood said the men at the home tried to put out the fire themselves. Neighbors said there was no chance for anyone to go in and save four mentally-challenged men who were trapped upstairs. Sharon Garcia said all she and others could do was shout to anyone on the 2nd floor. The only way for those victims to escape was a stairwell that was covered in flames.
“We were standing on the front lawn saying 'Is there anybody upstairs? Come to the window, jump,'" said Sharon Garcia. "They've must have already been passed out.”
Firefighters went through the thick smoke and fire to pull the men out.
The names of the victims have not been released. News 4 WOAI was told the man who was critically injured is 23-years-old.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined.