Blaze damages detached garage in Victoria (w/video)
April 4, 2014 at 11:05 a.m.
Updated April 4, 2014 at 11:05 p.m.
Peter Nguyen was in the middle of his rounds at Warm Springs Specialty Hospital when he received a phone call bearing bad news.
His home in Country Club Village was on fire.
Victoria firefighters responded at 11:23 a.m. to a report that a home in the 300 block of Woodland Lane was on fire.
Nguyen, 48, called his wife, Amanda, to ask whether she had left anything on at the house - a curling iron, the stove or an iron - while he drove to their home, but she didn't recall leaving anything on.
Their three children were safe at school when the fire started, and Amanda was also at work.
"I was just in shock," said Nguyen, an internist with Citizens and Warm Springs. "I thought it might have been the stove."
The fire damaged the detached garage, which the family used as storage for its extra equipment. He recently moved their boat to Seadrift, so it was safe from damage. A lawnmower and two Jet Skis were included in the damage.
Across the street, Pauline Hendryx, a retiree of the Houston school district, said she saw the fire and smoke when she stepped out of her home about the time the fire trucks arrived.
"It looked like they (firefighters) had everything in control," she said. "It was really reassuring to see."
She and Nguyen talked in the street with another neighbor as several firefighters snuffed the fire.
"I'm sorry it happened," Hendryx said. "But it looks like it (the garage) can be replaced."
Billows of black smoke filled the air as the winds fueled the fire.
Battalion Chief Shannon Martin said heavy flames were coming out of the garage when the fire trucks arrived.
"It took about 20 to 25 minutes to contain the fire," he said.
Firefighters were able to stop the fire before it reached the rest of the home, Martin said. At the time of the blaze, he said it was too early to tell what could have started the fire.
The electricity and gas to the home was turned off, said Nguyen. He also said the fire marshal on duty reported too much smoke damage to the rest of the home for the family to stay there for the next few days.
Nguyen and his family will stay in a hotel until their home is deemed suitable for them to return.
"We're happy no one was home and no one was hurt," he said.
The fire remains under investigation, said city of Victoria Fire Marshal Tom Legler, and it appears to be accidental.