AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin fire officials said a smoke detector saved a family of five early Wednesday morning after a blaze broke out while they slept.
The Waldens were sound asleep in their home in the 1700 block of Dartmouth Avenue when the beeping woke them up just after 3 a.m.
Jackquiline Walden said she could see smoke and flames in the garage on her way out of the house.
"When I ran out of my bedroom door, there's a window that goes to the garage, and there were flames coming out of it," said Walden. "There were flames coming from behind the washing machine."
Her mother-in-law and nephew were also sleeping when the fire started. The mother-in-law was taken to the hospital after inhaling too much smoke but is expected to be OK.
Firefighters have not identified a cause but said half of the home is damaged. The family was renting the home, built in the 1950s.
The Red Cross is helping the Walden family, who will be staying with family in the area.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a woman at a North Austin auto repair shop, police said Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
It's the first criminal charge following a yearlong criminal investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
With freezing temperatures pushing through the region, heating systems will likely be working overtime, which can bring rising energy bills.