POTEET, Texas -

Fire destroyed a double-wide mobile home in Poteet where five members of a family, including a baby, lived.

Firefighters from four volunteer departments, including Poteet, Rossville, Pleasanton and Primrose, responded to the scene in the 400 block of Oak Creek Estates Road after 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The family and their animals had already escaped the home by the time they arrived, according to Sandra Rivera, whose husband is related to the homeowner.

Rivera stood by, tearfully watching, as firefighters fought a losing battle. The fire burned the home to the ground, destroying everything in it.

"It's just heartbreaking, just seeing that. Everything's gone," Rivera said.

Although five people were living there now, the home had been a homestead to several generations and the site of many family gatherings, Rivera said.

"It's their home. I mean, everything they had was in there," she said.

When several other relatives arrived at the scene, one man fell to his knees upon seeing the damage.

At one point, thick black smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away.

Firefighters could not immediately determine what caused the fire and called for a fire marshal to investigate. They also called the American Red Cross to assist the family.

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