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Fire damages house, kills dog

By BY GHENI PLATENBURG - GPLATENBURG@VICAD.COM
Aug. 18, 2011 at 3:18 a.m.
Updated Aug. 25, 2011 at 3:25 a.m.

LEFT: Chris Warzecha, 17, right, is comforted by his friend, Deandre Shelton, after discovering his house in the 2700 block of College Street had caught fire. Warzecha's dog, a  3-year-old pit bull named Troubadour, died in the fire.

When Chris Warzecha left his house Thursday afternoon to grab a bite to eat before the big scrimmage game against Bay City High School, he had no idea that was the last time he would see one of his best friends alive.

A house fire took the life of Warzecha's beloved 3-year-old pit bull, Troubadour.

"He was the best dog I ever had," said Warzecha, 17, as a flood of tears ran down his face. "I've never had anything like this happen to me before."

Warzecha, a senior and member of the Victoria East High School football team, arrived moments after fire crews carried a lifeless Troubadour out of the house wrapped in a blanket.

About 1 p.m., Victoria fire crews responded to 2702 College Drive.

When they arrived, crews discovered heavy flames coming out of the east side of the single-story house, said Victoria Fire Department battalion chief Michael Belt.

A tree and grass located immediately next to the house had also caught fire, Belt said.

There was both fire and smoke damage to multiple bedrooms.

"We kept hearing noises," said neighbor Debra Farrior, who called 911 after a Fed Ex carrier alerted her to smoke coming from the Warzechas' house. "It was the glass breaking."

Warzecha lived in the home with his mother and father, who rent the property.

A search of Victoria County tax assessor records show the house is owned by Cuero residents Anthony B. Warzecha and Dawn S. Warzecha.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

Warzecha rushed home after learning about the fire from his grandmother.

The dog died of what appeared to be smoke inhalation, not flames, said Belt. A cat escaped unharmed.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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