Updated: Friday, 19 Feb 2010, 1:55 PM CST
Published : Thursday, 18 Feb 2010, 9:46 AM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - A house in Northwest Austin was destroyed by fire early Thursday in what officials are now saying was the beginning of a rampage by owner Joseph Stack. The episode ended in Stack crashing his plane into the Austin IRS offices, officials say.
The fire occurred at 1827 Dapplegrey Lane in North Austin. The fire was a one-alarm blaze[CEG1], but the smoke was visible to motorists on the freeway several miles away.
The fire, which happened around 9:15 a.m. in the Scofield Farms neighborhood, destroyed the $236k home that belonged to Joseph Stack, a local pilot.
Stack's wife and 12-year-old stepdaughter had left the home and checked into a a hotel on Wednesday night after Stack went "ballistic" over his problems with the IRS, officials reported.
Neighbors along Dapplegrey Lane said they heard a bang around 9 a.m., then noticed smoke and flames coming from the house.
Stacks wife, Sheryl, and her daughter, made it safely to a neighbor's house. However, Joseph Stack was not around.
Firefighters were not sure if he was trapped inside the blazing house and were looking for him - but after the plane crash, investigators began putting two and two together.
Stack was a pilot with a small plane at the Georgetown Airport
Neighbors credited the fast work of Austin firefighters in preventing the flames from reaching adjoining homes.
Below is an amateur video of the fire taken by KXAN viewer Chuck Watkins