A chimney is one of few things left of a house that burned to the ground last week north of Houston.

Firefighters from three local departments responded early last Wednesday morning to a fire that destroyed a house about three miles north of the Twin Bridges area on U.S. 63.

At 4:26 a.m., the Licking Fire Department requested help from the Houston Rural Fire Department after the large, two-story wooden house owned and occupied by David Kinserlow was fully engulfed at 10801 U.S. 63. Houston Rural Chief Don Gaston said Kinserlow was inside the home, but got out safely.

“His dog apparently woke him up and kept him from burning up with the house,” Gaston said.

Gaston said a pumper truck and two men from his department travelled to the fire. The Raymondville Volunteer Fire Department also was called for mutual aid.

“The house was already fallen in by the time we got there,” Gaston said. “There was a big garage next to it and we worked to save it. The wind was blowing pretty hard, too, and we kept the fire from spreading into the woods.

Gaston said the home was completely destroyed, and that the cause of the blaze wasn’t known.

“That was a beautiful home,” he said. “It’s a shame.”

Another fire call occurred even earlier the same morning, as residents on Oak Crest Drive in Houston reported smelling smoke resembling chemicals at 2:49 a.m.

City of Houston Fire Chief Joey Moore said it turned out to be oily rags that were starting to combust. Moore said a police officer arrived and moved the container of rags outside and the fire call was cancelled before firefighters left the station.

Last Friday, the Tyrone Fire Department was called Friday night to a report of a structure fire at 4230 Elk Creek Drive.

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