Fire Leaves Lubbock County Woman Homeless - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/15/06

Fire Leaves Lubbock County Woman Homeless

A Lubbock County woman is left with almost nothing after a fire burned her mobile home to the ground Wednesday morning. It started just after nine a.m. at 2015 East County Road 7110 near 82nd and MLK.

Woodrow Volunteer Firefighters say a space heater left running inside caused the fire. The homeowner told them she turned it on to keep her dog warm, she then went to the shed and returned to find her home on fire.

No one was inside when the fire started and nobody was injured however the homeowner tells us her dog is still missing.

NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire was there as firefighters put it out, she tells us winds were gusting near 30 miles an hour which didn't help conditions.

It took firefighters just over an hour to put out the fire, which is good considering how hard the wind was gusting, but the house is a total loss. Firefighters say the amount of debris covering the yard paired with the wind were huge factors in putting out the fire.

"With the high winds, it was gone pretty much when we got here, it was coming out the roof," said Woodrow Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jimmy Tyson.

A space heater left running caused the fire and when they arrived, there wasn't much they could do but try to contain it. However, the wind kicking up the fire with each blow paired with debris covering the yard made that task more difficult.

"With all the stuff you see around here, getting our lines pulled and all that keeping them where they don't kink, keeping the pressure on them, that was a big factor," said Tyson.

Just 24 hours earlier the same volunteer fire department spent 21 hours fighting another fire that started in a caliche pit in south Lubbock County. Tyson says his volunteer fire firefighters have seen an increase in the number of small grass fires. He blames that on the dry and windy conditions and says it's taking a toll on firefighters.

"It's tough on us. It's taken it's toll on our trucks and the guys, they don't last near as long as they usually do whenever they're so tired," said Tyson.

The fire could have spread if the debris caught on fire. Some grass fires have started because of trash left lying around. Tyson says if you see an excessive amount of debris covering a yard, you can call the sheriff's office environmental department and they can issue citations if the homeowner refuses to clean it up.

Also the Lubbock County Sheriff's Department tells us their environmental officer will visit the yard to investigate whether the homeowner committed any environmental violations.

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