Mobile home near Magnolia Beach catches fire, ammunition explodes

A Magnolia Beach mobile home burned Monday and had firefighters dodging bullets.

Fire departments from Port Lavaca, Magnolia Beach and Seadrift responded at 8:15 a.m. to flames showing at 52 Schedler St.

No one was hurt, said Chad Tamlin, Magnolia Beach Volunteer Fire Department chief.

Calhoun County Sheriff George Aleman said he heard anywhere from 25 to 30 explosions inside the home because there was ammunition stored throughout the home.

"One bullet went right by my head," Tamlin added. "It made us hesitant. I guess that's the word. ... We had to hide behind the storage sheds, behind the truck and trees because there were bullets flying."

Tamlin said the homeowner, Rick Kelly, was not home when the fire broke out. The home was a total loss.

Debris and trees surrounding the home also caught fire but were mostly extinguished within 30 minutes.

The Magnolia Beach Volunteer Fire Department stuck around to put out hot spots that flared up throughout the day, Tamlin said.

"We believe it was caused by a burn barrel that was left unattended, but that's really just speculation," Tamlin said. "(Rick Kelly) swears up and down that it was out when he left. That's the only thing we could find that actually may have started it."

Kelly received food and clothing from the Red Cross. His family is helping him, too, and he has a place to stay, said Barbara Neville, the disaster program manager for the Crossroads Territory.

Kelly declined to comment.