KIRBY – A family of 10 and all their pets are safe after their house caught fire around seven o’clock Friday morning.
The escape was a relief to those who feared the worst as firefighters swarmed the Kirby neighborhood in the 4800 block of Scott Carpenter Drive.
“Everything is black. The smoke just kind of destroyed all of the interior of the house, the bedroom, the kitchen. The laundry room is gone,” said Richard Gutierrez, who said the home belongs to his sister.
He said his sister lived there with her boyfriend, her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend, their five kids, and their son’s friend.
Plus, he said they had a lot of pets, who also got out safely.
“I think one of the kids was saying that mom was in the shower this morning and the daughter got up, she smelled smoke and she looked in the ceiling and the ceiling was completely black but when she opened the door is when the flame engulfed,” said neighbor LaNita Kelly.
Kelly came home from work during the fire to find the whole family standing in front of her driveway.
“I said, ‘Well y’all, the whole blessing is that everybody got out with your lives,’ and they all agreed and my neighbor here was allowing the family in and out to use the bathroom,” she said.
Firefighters on scene said they believe the fire started in the garage, which had been converted into a bedroom.
That garage is now boarded up from the outside, with charred debris scattered in front of it.
While fire investigators work to determine a cause, the family is attempting to regroup.
The Red Cross is helping the family with necessities. Gutierrez said they have other family members in town who are offering them places to stay, for now.
As for the family’s long-term plan, they are still unsure.