The fire broke out around 3:45am on West Saulnier and Stanford. It took fire crews about an hour to contain the flames.
At the peak of the fire, you could see the flames shooting into the air from a couple of blocks away. They say the fire started in a one-story home but then quickly spread to a second-story home next door.
Neighbors walked out of their homes to see the fire quickly consuming those homes.
"It was very quickly. I think probably within 10 to 15 minutes, it had jumped to the roof of the second house. It was entering the second floor at that point," said neighbor Amanda O'Toole.
"It was in the kitchen -- the light," said the fire victim in the one-story home.
Firefighters say the fire started in the back of his house, and he and his family got out just in time. A woman burned her hand on a door on the way out.
"The story they tell is, thank heavens they had smoke detectors, because that's what woke them up," said Fire Chief Jay Evans with the Houston Fire Department.
Firefighters called a second alarm with flames shooting through the roof.
"These homes are only 12-15 feet apart over here, and with this much fire in this one-story, it went into the eaves of the two-story and right on into the attic area," Evans said.
Both homes were gutted.
Parul Anderson, who lives across the street, watched her neighbors pick through what was left of their belongings.
"There's so much loss there, and I know both families have been there for many years," said Anderson. "There's a lot that's in there; pictures and keepsakes, it's all gone."
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire. The Red Cross is helping those residents displaced by the fire.
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