Part of the Thanksgiving holiday turned out to be a busy time for the Houston Rural Fire Department, as crews responded to two separate house fires Friday.

The first occurred during morning hours at a mobile home on Highway 17 east of Houston. Houston Rural Chief Don Gaston said the blaze was started by a couple of kids playing with a cigarette lighter.

“We’re just thankful the kids didn’t burn up,” Gaston said. “They could have pretty easily.”

Gaston said the children’s mother was also inside the home, which sustained heavy damage before the fire was extinguished. Four trucks and 10 firefighters responded.

“We saved a lot of it, but really it was a total loss,” Gaston said. “Once it started, it didn’t long. Some people think fire takes quite a while, but five or 10 minutes is a lot of time for a fire.

“But the main thing is everyone got out alive.”

Gaston and company were at it again in the afternoon, as two trucks and eight firefighters headed out to Burton Creek Road in the Ellis Prairie area west of Houston. This time, a pair of unoccupied trailer homes went up in flames and each destroyed.

“They were kind of joined at the hip,” Gaston said.

Members of the Roby Fire Department also responded to the blaze. Gaston said the cause was unknown.

The back-to-back fires ended a relatively extended stretch when things had been pretty quiet for Houston Rural.

“We went for while with things being pretty slack,” Gaston said, “then all heck broke loose all at once.

In other county firefighting news, the Summersville Fire Department was called at about 8:40 a.m. Monday to 19559 Ranch Road, where a house burned during the night.

Some flames were still visible, authorities said. 

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