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Family displaced after fire

By KBell
Sept. 20, 2010 at 4:20 a.m.

Romel Gonzales talks about the damage done to one of his rental properties, the home of Ike and Brooke Davis after a microwave caught fire early Sunday morning and destroyed the kitchen and left smoke damage in the rest of the house. The Davis children were not home at the time of the fire and Ike Davis was taken to Citizens Medical Center and later released. The couple did not have renters insurance and are moving out of the house which Gonzales plans to repair.

A family of five is without a home after an early-morning fire Sunday.

Romel Gonzales, of R&D Properties, the landlord of the home at 1510 Travis Ave., identified the tenants as Ike and Brooke Davis, who moved into the home about three months ago with their three small children.

The children were not in the home when the fire erupted at 2:20 a.m. Sunday, Gonzales said Monday.

The Victoria Fire Department was dispatched to the scene for a microwave oven that caught fire, said Battalion Chief Roger Hempel. They cleared the scene at 4:16 a.m.

Gonzales said the couple told him they awoke to crackling flames. The husband was taken to Citizens Medical Center, where he was later released.

"I'm just glad nobody got hurt. That's the main thing," Gonzales said.

The kitchen, including its walls and ceiling, was destroyed, and the rest of the house and furniture sustained extensive smoke damage. Blinds throughout the house were melted.

Gonzales said the house that he bought in 1993 was his first real estate purchase and that he had remodeled it just before the Davises moved in.

But looking around the charred kitchen, he said he would seize the opportunity to do a total renovation - and to remind his tenants to buy rental insurance, which the Davises did not have.

While Gonzales didn't know how much the damage would cost, he said he pro-rated the young couple's rent and returned their deposit in an effort to help them get back on their feet.

He was boarding up windows and doors Monday night and said he plans to start repairs Tuesday.

The Davises are staying with family and looking for a new rental property, Gonzales said.

The Davis family declined an interview request.



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