County fire investigators were still looking into the cause of blaze that severely damaged a home in the River Chase subdivision early Thursday morning.
New Braunfels Fire Department Battalion Chief Donny Obuch said units were dispatched to the 2600 block of River Oaks Drive, off Farm-to-Market Road 306, at 6:20 a.m.
The first units arrived at 6:32 a.m. to find flames engulfing a 2½ story residence.
“We had about 12 units at the location — which was out in the county so we had as many units come in as we could find,” he said, adding two large water trucks were called in from Canyon Lake Fire & EMS.
“It was actually very cold outside, which didn’t hamper our firefighting operations but was just cold,” Obuch said of temperatures in the mid-30s. “The fire seemed to have started somewhere on the first or second floor.”
What saved the residence from becoming a total loss was its design — a combination split-level/tri-level — that isolated the flames and limited most of the damage to half of the structure.
Obuch couldn’t provide a damage estimate, though online real estate listings of homes in the area are priced between $350,000 and $400,000.
Obuch said two people were inside the residence at the time of the blaze and there were no injuries. He said fire units cleared the scene at 11:42 a.m., when the closed portion of River Oaks Drive reopened to traffic.
Comal County Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde said his investigators hadn’t finished their report, but are close to labeling the cause as “undetermined.” Klabunde agreed the home’s unique design “actually saved the other half of the house.”
“It’s not suspicious,” Klabunde said, adding it will be up to the private insurance investigators to figure out the specifics behind the blaze. “There’s only certain (labels) we can apply to a fire. In this case, because it’s not intentional, accidental, natural or incendiary, we have to say it’s undetermined.”