AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Fire Department reported to the scene of a house fire at 1505 Holly Street Friday night, where firefighters discovered a deceased person after extinguishing the flames.
As of 8:18 p.m., firefighters were still on the scene and conducting a joint investigation with Austin Police Department. Crews arrived in under 3 minutes to perform an offensive and aggressive interior attack, through which AFD was able to stop the fire from spreading to neighboring homes.
In a briefing late Friday night, AFD Division Chief Palmer Buck said:
“It looks like one of the original homes here, in this neighborhood. So you’re talking close to 90 or 100 years-old at least. The home suffered fairly significant damage. The back of the home is destroyed and heavy fire and smoke damage throughout.”
“It’s been there since I’ve been born,” said Bekki Torres. “I mean I was born in this house and that house has been there.”
Torres lives across the street and told KXAN her parents knew their neighbor well.
“He was just a neighborhood guy. He took care of my dad. My dad was disabled, and he helped him,” she said.
AFD has not released the name of the person who passed away.
“We hope that it’s not him because he was a great guy,” Torres said.
Crews put out the fire in 10 minutes, although the home is still being considered a total loss. AFD also said it won’t release the cause of the fire until after the cause of death is determined, which are both being investigated.
AFD is working with APD, in addition to its Homicide Unit, and is currently speaking to neighbors and the passerby who reported the fire.
This is the first fatal fire of the year in Austin. There were only two in 2018.