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Fire destroys Bloomington home

By Dianna Wray - DWRAY@VICAD.COM
Sept. 5, 2011 at 4:05 a.m.

Victoria firefighters work to extinguish a house fire at 606 Shepley St. in Bloomington on Monday afternoon. The family and their dogs were able to escape the blaze, but the home was ruined.

BLOOMINGTON - A fire consumed a home at 606 Shepley St. on Monday afternoon.

"I heard a popping sound and then the whole back of the house was on fire," Garrick Brown said.

Brown, his mother, grandmother and little brother have lived in Bloomington for the past two years. The family was asleep when the fire started in the kitchen, Brown said.

His younger brother, Christopher Lewis, was in his bedroom at the back of the house. Within seconds, a wall of his bedroom was in flames.

The family and their two dogs escaped. Brown stood, hollow-eyed, watching the blaze. Lewis winced as the roof began to collapse, sending flames shooting into the sky.

Victoria Fire Marshal Ron Pray said the cause of the fire seems to have been a window air conditioning unit in one of the back bedrooms just off the kitchen. The unit apparently became clogged and overheated, causing the electrical wiring to short out, starting the fire.

The Victoria Fire Department, the Bloomington Fire Department, the Quail Creek Fire Department, Lone Tree and Dacosta all responded to the call.

The inside of the house was gutted by the flames.

Neighbor Marcia Carter watched from her porch as her daughter, Carin Drozd, used a garden hose to put out small patches of fire to keep it from spreading to the rest of the houses.

"We came outside and saw flames shooting out of the house," Carter said.

Drozd said the neighbors were working to make sure the fire didn't spread.

"It's a domino effect because with everything so dry out here, we know once one thing catches on fire, everything else will catch on fire. That's why it's a good community. Everyone is trying to help." Drozd said.

Flames billowed out the windows of the house as firefighters continued to douse it with water.

Brown and his family watched them work from across the street.

"I feel for the family because the house it's gone. It looks bad in there," Drozd said.

The family was given a night in a motel through the American Red Cross Crossroads, Director Linda May said.



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