On May 7, 2008 after the building closed for the night, a small fire in the records room on the top floor of the Main building began to smolder. Paper records in storage at that location began to burn.. Very soon, the entire attic was in flames. Local TV stations set up live cameras and suspended regular programming so the citizens of San Antonio were able to watch live the inferno.

The SAFD quickly escalated the fire to four alarms. The slate roof hampered all efforts to get water to the interior of the attic.The fire burned the rest of the night. Fortunately the floor of the attic was seasoned lumber from 1895 and the fire barely scorched it.

The above photos (save one) were taken from a balcony attached to the belfry of Sacred Heart chapel...right next door to "Old Main."

The building has been restored to its former glory and no traces of what was one of the most "visible" fires in San Antonio's history caused everyone to hold their breath...and pray!


This page was revised on August 9, 2021.

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