Fire ripped through a garage Friday night causing extensive damage to it but due to firefighters’ efforts the home it was attached to was spared from very much damage, New Braunfels Fire Department officials said.
No one was hurt in the blaze in the 2300 block of Country Grace in the Southbank subdivision off of Farm-to-Market Road 725 in New Braunfels, NBFD Capt. Patrick O’Connell said. One of the homeowners had arrived home, parked a vehicle and moments later heard popping sounds inside the garage so she checked to see what was making the noises, he said.
“She went to check and when she opened the garage door, she saw her car on fire and bags of recycling that were near it,” O’Connell said. “They closed the door, grabbed their dog and evacuated the house.”
He said the woman was home with her husband and both made it out of the home without injury.
NBFD Lt. Jack Ward said the fire call went out about 6:30 p.m. The first crews arrived about 6:35 p.m. and units were finally leaving the scene about 10:50 p.m., Ward said.
O’Connell said the initial reports were for a fully-involved structure fire. But crews arrived and found that the garage was burning with flames shooting through its roof.
Firefighters began extinguishing the flames and knocking down hot spots.
O’Connell said they were able to contain the flames mostly to the garage, and the majority of the damage to the actual house was due to smoke and water.
“The residential section of the home was damaged by smoke and water,” he said. “The fire damage is limited almost exclusively to the garbage and the attic.”
O’Connell, who is also the city’s fire marshal, said he “conservatively” estimated the amount of damage to the structure to be about $150,000. He said about $30,000 in contents were damaged.
Those estimates included damage to two vehicles parked in the garage.
While the area of origin to was clearly the garage he was unable to settle on a cause.
“The cause of the fire is most likely the vehicle but that will require additional investigation from the owner’s insurance company,” O’Connell said.
He said the woman had arrived home about five minutes before the fire started. She parked her small sport utility vehicle in the garage.
Investigators were unable to determine the make or model of the SUV because it was so badly burned.
The popping sound the woman heard in the garage was likely aluminum cans burning in a bag near her SUV, O’Connell said.