A local family has been displaced after a fire nearly consumed their entire home Saturday afternoon.
Firefighters with the Somervell County Fire Department were dispatched to the 300 block of Rio Grande Street at 6:27 p.m., Saturday, March 29, after homeowner Ann Baker called 9-1-1 to report that flames were coming from the rear portion of her family’s home.
According to city of Glen Rose Fire Marshall Darrell Webb, local firefighters were en route within a minute of the call. Fortunately, several firefighters were at the station when the call was received, allowing them to arrive on scene in under three minutes.
Fourteen local firefighters responded along with five trucks, said Webb. “Everyone was out of the home when we arrived and she (Ann) had accounted for two or three pets before we arrived on the scene.”
The fire marshall said Ann Baker had been home for about 15 minutes before the blaze began, while her husband, Lonnie Baker, was not present at the time.
“My husband (Lonnie “L.D.” Baker) had just left and I saw the orange glow and knew it was a fire,” said Ms. Baker. “Since he had just left I thought I could get the water hose to put it out. When I opened the back door I saw the smoke was rolling out of the eaves.”
Reacting quickly, Ms. Baker said she retrieved her three dogs and called 9-1-1.
According to first-hand accounts from the victim, Webb said Ms. Baker entered a bedroom located at the rear of the home, which was determined to be the location where the fire had started.
“The back porch was made out of cedar and it pretty much added fuel to the flame,” said Webb. “We’re pretty sure the cause was electrical. There were some neighbors that heard some explosions, but when the back porch collapsed we determined that a couple propane camping canisters had exploded.”
Upon further investigation of the scene on Sunday, Webb reported that it appears the fire began in the attic and began consuming the structure from the top down. “We had loss-stop at about 50 percent of the house and there was heavy smoke damage throughout the entire home. Fortunately, we saved a substantial portion of the residence due to a quick response time.”
Although not certain of the cause, Webb says he does not the location where the fire originated. “It started above the first bedroom at the rear of the house, closest to the living room. The exact cause will probably be undetermined, but I believe it was electrical.”
Webb also reported that the fire did not spread to neighboring or adjacent structures.
“EMS treated and released the homeowner at the scene. She was treated for smoke inhalation and distress,” said Webb.
Ms. Baker said that an inspector was scheduled to review the damages on Wednesday, but in the meantime, she and her husband will reside in a family member’s residence near their destroyed home.
“Everybody that we’ve talked to said it was a total loss,” said Ms. Baker. “Most of our furniture, clothing and belongings were destroyed by the fire, and smoke or water damage. It (decision to rebuild) depends on what they tell us tomorrow. From the front it doesn’t look bad, but when you go to back of the house and see it, to me it’s a total loss.”
Ms. Baker says she and her husband are lucky that they walked away with their lives and have a place to stay until a new home can be found or rebuilt.
“We’re just lucky,” said Ms. Baker. “My son is in the process of moving to Fort Worth, so we’re lucky to have a place to go. It’s just right down the street. But it’s been difficult, too. I lay in bed every night thinking about the things that were in that part of the house that I’ve lost.”
Co-workers of Ms. Baker’s at the Somervell County-District Clerk’s office are collecting funds for the family. Individuals may make a donation to the Baker family at the courthouse annex, 107 N.E. Vernon St.