Teen dies in house fire in north Harris Co.

November 1, 2009 6:07:18 PM PST
A man is dead after he was caught in a house fire. Now his family is trying to cope with the loss of a loved one and their home. A second person, a teenager, is in a hospital. Right now, firefighters are working to pinpoint how it all started. Flames broke out early Sunday morning in the home on Hollybrook in north Harris County.

Just the shell of the home remains. Family members say they were told the fire started in the living room on the far end of the house. The two young men inside were apparently on the opposite end and didn't wake up in time to be able to get out on their own.

In the aftermath of the fire, the family walked out of the burned house with two t-shirts, a birth certificate and a handful of old photographs from Isaac Barajas' youth, including one taken with his smiling mother at a school dance. On Sunday, her face was one of anguish as news of Isaac's death sunk in.

"She took it really hard," said Roland Barajas, brother of Isaac.

Roland said Isaac, 20, and a friend were asleep here in his father's home when it caught fire around 4:30am Sunday morning. Someone driving by reportedly saw the smoke and called 911. But by the time firefighters arrived, it was engulfed in flames.

"The fire going up, going up, and that's when there was a guy on the window banging that they needed to let him out," said neighbor Lupe Rosas.

She says she watched as firefighters cut through burglar bars to pull a 17-year-old from the burning house.

"They walked him, I think, to the ambulance and he kept looking back like he was just in shock," said Rosas.

Roland added, "But my brother was too far in the fire to get him out."

On Sunday afternoon, neighbors gathered to comfort his family and shed tears, grieving for a young man whose life they say ended much too soon.

"I don't know, still just kind of lost for words right now," said Roland.

Family members say Isaac had an eight-month-old daughter, that he once played the trumpet in a band called Caliente, and that he worked the night shift for UPS. They say his 17-year-old friend who survived the fire is in the intensive care unit, suffering from minor burns and severe smoke inhalation.

The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office has not yet determined a cause for the fire.

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