Family escapes house fire in NE Bexar

Several pets saved in fire at home at 6600 block of Lakecliff


A family of four, including an elderly man, safely escaped their burning home early Tuesday afternoon in northeast Bexar County.

The fire broke out around 11:35 a.m. at their home in the 6600 block of Lakecliff.

Tom Harrod, their next-door neighbor, said he alerted them to get out, thanks to some divine intervention.

"God said, 'You need to run an errand.' So I said, 'OK, I'm going to go or my wife will get me,'" Harrod said.

But Harrod said it took more than ringing their ringing their doorbell.

"I go over there and beat on the door, trying to get everybody up, screaming and jumping up and down," Harrod said.

A woman, her two children and her 78-year-old father, who owns the home, were able to get out safely, Bexar County spokeswoman Laura Jesse said.

Jesse said investigators with the Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office believe the fire started in the attic, but the exact cause is still unknown.

The family escaped with their dogs and cat, but Jesse said a bearded dragon lizard and a small pet rabbit required oxygen administered by China Grove firefighters.

They said the rabbit was spotted in a cage in one of the bedrooms during a secondary search of the house.

But all they could see was its nose twitching.

"It was hard to see the rabbit. It was black and everything in there is black now," said Robert Mullins with the China Grove VFD.

Mullins said next to the rabbit cage, they saw the lizard in a terrarium.

"He was keeping his head above water, so he was glad we showed up," Mullins said.

Their owners said they were grateful for the life-saving efforts on behalf of their pets.

"Thank you very much. Thank you," said the grandfather, whose name was not released.

Mullins said, "If you bring one little positive to them in a bad situation, that makes us feel good."

Jesse said due to the partially collapsed roof, the fire went to a second alarm.

She said 10 area fire departments responded including Gardendale, Kirby, Converse, Live Oak, Universal City, Selma, St. Hedwig, Windcrest, the U.S. Air Force and Fort Sam Houston.

Eric Maldonado, a spokesman for American Red Cross, said they are trying to help the family. He said it is his understanding they now have their pets with them, but if they need temporary housing, the Red Cross works with pet-friendly hotels, and they also have an agreement with Animal Care Services for pets in similar predicaments.

About the Authors: