Personnel with the Houston Rural Fire Department responded late Tuesday night to a fire that destroyed a house on Brushy Creek Road at Brown Hill Road east of Houston and threatened the lives of a man and woman living inside.
Houston Rural Chief Don Gaston said Gary Heiney and his wife reported that they crawled out a window to escape the flames. Gaston said they each received significant burn injuries before getting out, especially the woman, whose arms and one hand were badly scorched. She was reportedly taken by ambulance for treatment at Texas County Memorial Hospital.
“The way it sounds, they barely got out,” Gaston said. “There could easily have been fatalities.”
Two trucks and seven firefighters responded at about 11 p.m., Gaston said, and several personnel returned at about 3 a.m. due to a rekindle that threatened an outbuilding and a car. At that point, the temperature was in the teens.
“It was bitter,” Gaston said.
Gaston said the homeowners reported that the blaze began when a dog knocked over a stovepipe at the home’s wood heat source. He said three dogs and two cats died in the fire.
“Not much of a Christmas present,” Gaston said. “The people lost everything but the clothes on their backs.”