With the high heat indexes South Texas is experiencing this summer, it’s no surprise to expect a lot of fires popping up around the area. Such was the case this past weekend as the Jourdanton, Poteet and Charlotte Volunteer Fire Departments along with ESD 5 responded to four calls involving fully engulfed structure fires across Atascosa County.
FM 2146 residence
On Saturday, July 11 at 8:42 a.m., Charlotte VFD was called out to a structure fire off FM 2146. Jourdanton and Poteet VFD also responded to the call and worked alongside Charlotte VFD to save the structure. No injuries were reported, but the structure, a mobile home belonging to Johnny Rodriguez, was completely lost in the fire.
Charlotte Firefighter Liz Ramon reported the fire was the result of a faulty AC window unit.
Ramon further advises residents to not park on the side of the roads in the grass as the heat from the muffler can cause severe grass fires.
“That’s the number one fire starter we see, so please do not park in the grass,” Ramon said.
Ave B and 4th Street
According to Atascosa County Fire Marshal Roger Garcia, a structure fire involving a vehicle and mobile home on Ave B and 4th Street in Poteet on Monday morning, seems to be the result of arson.
“It appears someone caught the car on fire on purpose and it spread to the mobile unit that was next to it,” said Garcia. “We are still investigating it, but it’s highly likely that arson is the cause of this fire.”
Poteet and Jourdanton VFD along with the Poteet Police Department responded to the call early Monday morning around 1:30 a.m. Units worked until 3:30 a.m. to stop the fire and were able to save a third structure from catching fire.
Palo Alto Subdivision
On Saturday evening, Poteet VFD and ESD 5 were called out to a residence in the Palo Alto Subdivision north of Poteet for a smoke alert.
“We did a thermal imaging and detected quite a bit of heat coming from one section of the house,” said Poteet VFD Fire Chief Curtis Adams.
Poteet VFD pulled the ceiling down to find fire and were able to immediately put it out.
“We advised the owner to shut their power off until they could get some electrical wiring fixed so as to prevent an even bigger fire,” said Adams.
On Monday morning at 4:30 a.m., Poteet VFD and ESD 5 were called out to a fully engulfed structure fire at the same residence in the Palo Alto Subdivision.
“We are still investigating that fire, but we are pretty sure it was due to electrical wiring,” stated Fire Marshal Garcia. “Poteet VFD was called out Saturday for a smaller fire in the attic, and it’s clear the owner did not heed their warning about the electrical wiring, but nothing is confirmed just yet.”
No Burning Advisory
On Monday afternoon, Fire Marshal Garcia announced a “No Burning Advisory” for Atascosa County.
“This is not similar to a burn ban. We are just advising people to not burn right now based on the high heat indexes we are experiencing,” said Garcia. “We will continue to go day by day on burning recommendations based on the wind, humidity and weather in general.”
Garcia further stated that if the county does not see any rain in the near future, he might have to enforce a burn ban for the county.
“We are asking everyone to be very proactive in fire prevention. We are seeing dry, hot conditions right now and it’s not safe to burn,” he said. “Our [firefighters] are answering calls left and right, and it’s extremely hot out there. I’m asking everyone to please do their best to prevent any fires so that we can protect our firefighters from these draining conditions.”
For further information on day-to-day burning recommendations for Atascosa County, please follow the Atascosa County Fire Marshal’s Office Facebook page.