Heater led to Southeast Austin duplex fire displacing 6, officials say


Highlights

The fire displaced six people and four dogs in the 2400 block of Burleson Road, Austin Fire officials said.

The fire caused an estimated $150,000 worth of structural damage and about $75,000 in other property damage.

At the moment smoke and flames became visible from the roof of a Southeast Austin duplex Sunday morning, a 14-year-old boy was asleep inside the home. His mother didn’t know the building was on fire until neighbors from across the street knocked on the door and alerted her.

The fire, which investigators say was caused by a faulty heater system, displaced six residents and four dogs living in the duplex on the 2400 block of Burleson Road, Austin Fire Department officials said. By the time firefighters arrived at 11:28 a.m., five minutes after the first 911 call, the attic was almost completely consumed by fire.

Gusts of wind exacerbated the spread of the flames, which quickly engulfed walls that lacked siding because of home renovations. By the time firefighters put out the blaze, the fire caused an estimated $150,000 worth of structural damage and about $75,000 in other property damage, fire officials said.

Despite the lack of a functioning fire alarm in the home, all six residents were accounted for and uninjured, which included the mother and son, their roommate, and three men who lived on the other half of the duplex. Residents were able to rescue two dogs, and firefighters rescued the remaining two dogs from the home.

Fire officials said the American Red Cross offered aid to the displaced residents. Norma Sanchez, identifying herself as a relative of the mother and son displaced in the fire, said she would be taking them to stay with her.

“It happened so fast,” Sanchez said. “She didn’t know smoke was coming out until the neighbor came and told her.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

'Tide Pod Challenge' causes some retailers to lock up product
'Tide Pod Challenge' causes some retailers to lock up product

The viral challenge that involves people filming themselves biting into laundry detergent pods is causing some retailers to take security measures to prevent people from shoplifting the product, WTSP reported. The so-called Tide Pod Challenge has prompted a warning from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which said ingesting the pods...
Sessions interviewed by Mueller team as part of Russia probe, report says
Sessions interviewed by Mueller team as part of Russia probe, report says

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed last week by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office as part of the ongoing investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to President Donald Trump’s campaign team, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Documentary on controversial Austin arrest of Breaion King nominated for Academy Award
Documentary on controversial Austin arrest of Breaion King nominated for Academy Award

Included in this year’s Academy Award nominations, which were announced Tuesday morning, is an HBO documentary on the controversial arrest of Austin elementary teacher Breaion King.  The documentary “Traffic Stop” is nominated in the documentary (short subject) category. According to HBO’s website, the documentary...
Shooting reported at Kentucky high school
Shooting reported at Kentucky high school

Authorities responded Tuesday morning to reports of a shooting at a high school in Kentucky, according to multiple reports. 
Michigan woman facing financial crisis wins lottery jackpot
Michigan woman facing financial crisis wins lottery jackpot

It has been a difficult year for a Michigan woman, who has struggled to pay the bills while taking care of her mother full time. Shawna Donnelly said she was even facing the prospect of being homeless, but her luck changed dramatically when she won $25,000 a year for life in a Michigan Lottery game on Jan. 15, WDIV reported. Donnelly, 50, from...
More Stories