AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department’s homicide department is investigating the death of a person who was found in a house fire in northeast Austin Monday night.
“You want to run inside, but you can’t do anything,” said neighbor Daisy Brown who noticed the fire during her drive home and quickly called 911.
Austin firefighters were called to the 9600 block of Middle Fiskville Road — just east of Interstate 35 — at 9:27 p.m. The Austin Fire Department said heavy fire was showing from the house when they arrived.
“You couldn’t even see the house,” Brown said, “just fire everywhere.”
Crews were hindered in putting out the fire as the structural integrity of the home was compromised. AFD reported the structure was a total loss with damage estimated to be $115,000, along with $20,000 in contents.
People who live in the area told KXAN the house appears to have been vacant.
“No one lives there,” said Tiffany Sutton. “I thought it might have been an electrical fire.”
KXAN asked Austin Energy if there were any electrical service connected to the home. They said they can’t release that information until they make contact with the homeowner.
“It just makes me think that it was someone, like a squatter, maybe going in to get some warmth,” said Sutton.
When it comes to the home’s history, Austin Code says there haven’t been any code violation complaints since May 2013–which was for a minor zoning violation.
Travis County Appraisal District records indicate the property belonged to someone whose Social Security records show died in 2015 and it’s unclear who has taken over ownership since.
There is no word yet on the cause of the fire and the name of the victim. Both AFD and APD are currently investigating the fire.