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Fire guts vacant Victoria home (Video)

May 25, 2013 at 12:25 a.m.
Updated May 26, 2013 at 12:26 a.m.


Fire gutted a single-story unoccupied house Saturday night in the south part of Victoria.

No one was injured as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames, which were reported about 7 p.m. in the 2300 block of Pleasant Green Drive.

"It looked like an explosion," said Irene Benavidez, who lives across the street and whose uncle owns the property.

She said she heard a loud crack of thunder and then saw smoke and flames drifting above the trees. The house is set several hundred feet off Pleasant Green Drive.

Victoria Fire Marshal Tom Legler said the cause of the fire remained under investigation late Saturday and that the weather may have been a factor.

The owner, Jose Garza Polanco, walked away from the charred debris in the Saturday night drizzle, relieved that no one was injured but saddened that family belongings were gone.

"The firefighters did all they could, but it's a total loss," Polanco said. "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away."

The Korean War veteran said he had owned the property for about three years and was working to get it into shape.

His daughter was using the house to store many of her belongings, and he had many items from his time in combat.

Firefighters, however, were able to save some of his weapons from combat and a coin collection, he said.

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