SAN ANTONIO — Surveillance video captured the moment San Antonians jumped into action and help make sure no one was injured after two houses caught on fire on the northeast side. The two families don’t have a place to call home, but they are thankful their neighbors came to the rescue.
"I just left my cane behind and took off," Randy Goss said.
Goss says he suffers from back problems, but when he realized his neighbors' homes were on fire, he knew he had to take action. He’s lived in the neighborhood for 15 years.
"We all watch out for each other. That's one thing that we all do,” Goss said. “We all take care of each other."
He says the fire broke out around 2 p.m. on the 4700 block of Desert Poppy, just 15 minutes after he got home from church.
"He's yelling, 'fire!'" Goss’s wife said.
"I ran across the street with him, we got the water hoses and we were trying to turn the fire off, and the more we're trying to turn it off, the faster the house caught on fire," Goss said.
"He grabbed this hose, I went over to this house over here and I grabbed that hose as soon as possible, and his wife came over, knocked on the doors, made sure no one was in there. We just took action. We didn't have time to think," Jesus Hernandez said.
The video shows neighbors trying to put out the flames as they reached the second floor of the homes.
"I just wanted the people out. That's all I was worried about," Goss said.
The video captures Goss's wife as she anxiously hammers on one door while her husband tried to warn the other neighbor. No one was inside of one of the homes, but Goss was able to reach Alex Sanchez.
"I was banging on his window and then he comes out,” Goss said. “I said, 'your house is on fire,' and he didn't even know."
A spokesperson with the fire department said it took firefighters about an hour to put out the intense fire. He said they called for backup to keep the flames from spreading to other homes because of their close proximity.
It's estimated the fire caused more than $400,000 in damage to both homes. The families salvaged and packed away what they could.
Fire officials do not believe the cause is suspicious. SAFD said the official report will remain "undetermined" due to the extensive damage.