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Family of 5 homeless after fire (video)

By chirst
Sept. 1, 2013 at 4:01 a.m.

A firefighter pulls a hose out of a house on the 400 block of Taos Drive as the Victoria Fire Department prepares to start its investigation into the cause of a fire Sunday morning. The fire started just before 9 a.m. in the living room of the home, said Victoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Roger Hempel. The living room suffered extensive fire damage with heat and smoke damaging other parts of the house. No one was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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To donate to the American Red Cross Crossroads Chapter, call 361-573-2671.

Cynthia Lozano was cooking breakfast for her kids Sunday morning when she smelled smoke coming from the living room.

"I noticed a fire smell and burnt smell and came around to the living room, and the couch was already on fire. I got my kids out as quick as I could. I came back in, and the flames were all over the house by that point," she said.

She attempted to fight the fire once she got her three kids, ages 7-13, out of the house, but the fire was too intense, already spreading through most of the house.

"It was so strong, and it felt so hot. And at that point, I didn't think I would be able to do anything," Lozano said.

The Victoria Fire Department responded to the fire in the 400 block of Taos Drive at 8:54 a.m, said Victoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Roger Hempel.

Lozano had lit a candle in the living room that morning, and her cat, Pepe, may have knocked the candle over, she said.

Pepe, who had been in the family for several years, died in the fire.

The fire was out within 10 minutes of arrival, Hempel said, but the house suffered extensive smoke and fire damage to the living areas and smoke and heat damage to the rest of the house.

Lozano removed some of the clothes from the house and hopes to get the smell of smoke out at a washateria.

The American Red Cross Crossroads Chapter responded to the fire, providing emergency assistance and three days in a hotel, said Linda May, emergency services director.

Lozano said they have home insurance but do not have family to stay with until the home is ready to live in.

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