Four family members living on a property in southeast New Braunfels are lucky to be alive after being transported to area hospitals following a blaze that consumed one house and threatened others, fire officials said Friday.
New Braunfels Fire Department Battalion Chief Rick Edwards said NBFD fire and EMS units were dispatched to the 200 block of Loma Vista Street, in the Mockingbird Heights/Loma Verde subdivision, around 10:45 a.m. Friday.
“Prior to the arrival of the first units it was reported that children were trapped in the residence,” Edwards said. “The first arriving medic unit reported all occupants were accounted for, but there were multiple burn victims.”
Investigators believe an accident sparked the fire, which all but leveled the main home and severely damaged a nearby garage residence. EMS units transported four people, believed to be a man, woman, 19-month-old infant and a neighbor, to area hospitals, Edwards said.
“The most serious was a 24-year-old female who was transported to San Antonio Military Medical Center due to burns,” he said.
Edwards said the male toddler suffered burns and was sent to San Antonio’s University Hospital. Another man, 25 and also burned, was taken to Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-New Braunfels; and a 61-year-old man, suffering from smoke inhalation, was transported to Resolute Hospital in New Braunfels.
No further information on their conditions — or their relationships with each other — was available Friday evening. Edwards said he believed that 12 of the 16 people living on the property were members of the same family.
“When we arrived, there was heavy smoke and fire out in front of the house,” Edwards said, adding the fire eventually proceeded into the roof, with winds — blowing 15 to 20 mph and higher gusts — accelerating the flames.
“We began to attack the fire from a defensive posture after all occupants were accounted for, and we were able to get it knocked down,” Edwards said.
Edwards said 36 first-responders on the scene manned six fire trucks and engines, with others staffing five ambulances. All remained on the scene for more than three hours.
“It was pretty much a full shift,” he said, adding the residence, a single-story wooden framed home, was a total loss.
“I’m not sure where the fire started but the side of the house on the downwind side was completely gone,” Edwards said. “It didn’t get to a couple of walls on the upwind side of the house, which was an older home.”
Edwards, who couldn’t provide a cost estimate of the damage, said the fire wasn’t suspicious – and that city fire marshals have tentatively determined it started by accident. NBPD and FD units remained on the scene until around 1:30 p.m., when Loma Vista Street, closed from the Interstate 35 northbound access road to Becker Street, reopened to traffic.
Fire officials said the Red Cross had been called to assist the family.