TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused a fire that spread to two homes and damaged a third Thursday afternoon.
Firefighters got a call around 12:45 p.m. to respond to the 700 block of Washburn St. in Taylor, Texas. Video from KXAN viewer Peter Reinhardt shows flames coming from the structure as crews spray it with hoses. One house was destroyed, while the second was left scorched and standing. A third home also suffered minor damage to the outside.
Taylor Fire Chief Pat Ekiss says a person who lived at the home where the fire started was standing on the front porch when firefighters arrived. A neighbor tells KXAN it appeared he and another person were putting in a storm door when the neighbor told them he saw flames coming from the back of the house. That neighbor who lives three houses down said the flames were only about three feet high when he first saw them and that’s when he went to check on his elderly neighbors.
“I said ‘Glenda,’ I said, ‘that house is on fire and it’s going fast’ and I said ‘y’all better get out’ and she said ‘thank you Preston,” explains Prestor.
That elderly couple was able to get out safely. So was the man who lived in the second house that was left scorched.
Chief Ekiss says it only took firefighters a few minutes to get to the scene, but when they did, the house was already fully engulfed. “We arrived within minutes of that 911 call, it was a fully involved structure, so there was a significant amount of fire inside that building either before we got the call, or the contents and structure makeup of that building allowed that fire to spread exponentially.”
The owner of the house that caught fire tells KXAN he was getting ready to move back into his place this weekend. He says his brother had been living at the home. The Red Cross is now assisting those affected.