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Family responds after home catches fire

By KBell
Feb. 9, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Updated Feb. 8, 2011 at 8:09 p.m.

Fire fighters extinguish flames from a house at 3412 Gayle Street that caught fire around 5 p.m., Wednesday evening.  The fire began in a back bedroom and caused smoke damage to most of the house.

HOW TO HELPTo donate to Williams and the Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross, call 361-573-2671, go to

www.crossroads-redcross.org, or head to 2805 N. Navarro St., Suite 500.

While firefighters battled the last of the blaze that threatened to destroy her aunt's home, 17-year-old Raderica National ran up the driveway to give her a tearful hug.

Patricia Williams' home in the 3400 block of Gayle Street caught fire at about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The 46-year-old stood outside with growing numbers of her family, all wrapped in winter coats, and watched as firefighters put out the fire that started in a back bedroom.

"I think it must have been a candle," Williams said.

She said she was cooking when she heard a fire alarm go off. Noticing flames coming from her bedroom, she grabbed her 18-year-old daughter and 5-year-old grandson and fled the home.

Members of the Victoria Fire Department were able to contain the fire to the back quarter of the house, but the entire home sustained significant smoke damage, said Battalion Chief Tracy Fox.

Strong winds blowing in the direction of the street proved to be an obstacle for firefighters, but they were able to spare a next-door home that the flames had threatened, Fox said.

By 5:30 p.m., neighbors and family, many of whom lived nearby, lined the street and offered Williams warming hugs.

The support left Williams positive about her future after her home of 22 years remained smoldering.

"I have friends here I can stay with," she said.

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