House fire leaves 13 homeless

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A three-bedroom, single-family home in the 200 block on Charles Street caught fire about 4 p.m. Monday, leaving a family of 13 without a place to live.

Victoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Roger Hempel said the cause of the fire is under investigation, but it appears to have started in the back left corner of the home near the kitchen and laundry room areas.

"It's estimated about 25 percent of the structure was on fire. The rest of the structure experienced heavy smoke and heat damage," Hempel said.

Homeowners Joe and Rose Partida, who have lived there for about 23 years, shared the home with 11 family members, a total of eight adults and five children.

"We took off to go pick up my daughter's kids from school and the next thing you know, my son calls to tell me, 'Mom, the house is on fire,'" Rose Partida said, watching her home burn from across the street. "So, I rush back over here and come back to this."

Rose Partida said it was the family's second experience with a house fire.

Partida's 17-year-old son, Jason Partida, was inside the home when the blaze started.

"I heard a pop. It was in all three rooms, so we got out of there," he said.

Jason Partida suspects the fire may have ignited because of an electrical malfunction near the breaker.

Linda May, emergency services director of the American Red Cross Crossroads Chapter is assisting the family with temporary housing.

Joe and Rose Partida said their home was insured.