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February 21, 2022

McAllen Service Mechanics Save Apartment Complex from Fire

Service Mechanics Juan Ledezma and Andy Garcia know that they have to ready for anything when answering service calls. And on one early morning last month, their training and instincts kicked in to help save one customer’s apartment, and the complex, from going up in flames.

Service Mechanic Andy Garcia (left) and Juan Ledezma recently helped put out a fire at an apartment complex before more damage was done.

At approximately 2 a.m., Garcia and Ledezma met at an apartment complex in McAllen where the customer explained that her main breaker might be tripped.

“Andy had called me and asked if I could meet him there,” Ledezma said. “She explained how she tried the main breaker but a small fire broke out in her balcony’s storage closet.”

By the time Ledezma and Garcia arrived at the apartment complex, they could smell smoke.

“The torch on the water heater would throw sparks every time she switched the breaker off and on,” Garcia said. “The sparks caught a small storage bin on fire inside the closet.”

As soon as they realized what was happening, Garcia called 911 and Ledezma ran upstairs with the fire extinguisher from his bucket truck.

“That is when I opened the closet and found the boxes on fire,” Ledezma said. “We attempted to extinguish the fire and were able to control it but it was still burning.”

At this point, Ledezma and Garcia removed boxes from the confined space.

“Our only safe option was to throw the box over the balcony to a clear spot on the ground,” Ledezma said.

Once on the ground, Garcia dumped water from his bucket truck’s water cooler on it.

“All those years of safety training and fire extinguisher training just kicked in,” Ledezma said. “I have used the fire extinguisher a couple of times on a pole but this was different.

Ledezma and Garcia stayed on site until the McAllen Fire and Police Departments arrived.

“The fire marshal determined the cause of the fire was the loose connections on top of the water heater,” Ledezma said. “He also stated that the action taken by us saved the apartment complex from going up in flames.”

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