Officials: 3 escape Southeast Austin fire because of smoke alarms


SOUTHEAST AUSTIN

Officials: 3 escape house fire

A house fire in Southeast Austin early Tuesday displaced three people who were able to escape thanks to working smoke alarms, Austin fire officials said.

Firefighters responded just after 2:10 a.m. to the fire in the 4800 block of Saguaro Road in the Onion Creek neighborhood. There, crews extinguished the fire in the garage and prevented it from spreading to the rest of the single-family home, officials said.

Investigators determined that an electrical short ignited the fire, which caused about $40,000 in damage to the structure and $10,000 in damage to the contents, officials said.

The three residents were checked out by Austin-Travis County EMS medics for smoke inhalation and are staying with family members, fire officials said.

— Roberto Villalpando, American-Statesman

SOUTH AUSTIN

EMS: Man struck by train hospitalized

A man described as in his 30s was struck by a train in South Austin early Tuesday and was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, Austin-Travis County EMS reported.

Medics responded to the scene near Dolphin Drive and Lightsey Road just before 3:30 a.m.

Initial reports from EMS indicated that the man was found conscious and breathing. Medics then took the man to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, EMS said.

The man’s injuries are not expected to be life-threatening, EMS said.

— Roberto Villalpando, American-Statesman

LIBERTY HILL

Salesman accused of stealing more than $17K

A former salesman has been accused of stealing more than $17,000 from a portable building company in Liberty Hill, according to an arrest affidavit.

Chad May, 43, was charged with theft, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail. An employee of Derksen Portable Buildings doing an audit of past due accounts in January discovered more than $17,000 in missing money, the affidavit says. It says all the customers whose payments were behind said they had made them to May. Derksen Portable Buildings is at 14852-A Texas 29 West in Liberty Hill, the affidavit says.

The employee found records showing May was accepting the payments from March 2017 to January by money order and electronically to an account he owned named “Shed Time Texas,” the affidavit says.

When a business employee confronted May, the affidavit says, he admitted to taking the money and was fired. May agreed to repay the company and wrote several checks to it from a checking account in his wife’s name but all the checks were returned because the checking account had been closed, according to the affidavit.

It said an employee of the portable building company tried to reach May about the bounced checks but May stopped communicating March 1.

Police met with May later this month and he said he had taken the money because he was trying to start a contracting business and was using the money from his sales job to cover his losses, the affidavit says.

May completed a statement while meeting with the police saying he would repay the money with money orders but he never repaid it, according to the affidavit.

He was released from the Williamson County Jail on Saturday after posting bail set at $50,000.

— Claire Osborn, American-Statesman



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