Family escapes fire at city of South Houston house unharmed

A fire that erupted in the city of South Houston has destroyed two homes.
August 21, 2013 8:31:14 PM PDT
A family is now sifting through what's left of their home, trying to salvage anything after their neighbor accidentally set their home on fire.

SkyEye HD was over the scene in the 300 block of Virginia Street as dark smoke poured into the sky Wednesday afternoon. And when the smoke cleared, you could see the shells of the two homes that were previously there.

After not being able to do anything but watch his house burn, Alberto Vasquez was finally able to walk out with some belongings.

"They were huge, it looked hot. I was like, there's no stopping this fire," he said.

Escorted by a firefighter, he did salvage some photos and important papers.

"I'm lucky they let me in," he said.

The most important things were already out.

"I just grabbed the baby and got out of the house as fast as I could," Vasquez's wife, Vanessa Vasquez, said.

Vanessa and their 5-month-old daughter were inside their home when their neighbor's house caught fire and quickly spread.

Fortunately, just three blocks away was City of South Houston Police Chief Herbert Gilbert. He saw the smoke, sped down the street and alerted Vanessa, who didn't yet know there was danger.

"When I knocked on the door, they were pretty startled but they came out quickly," Gilbert said.

Gilbert is reluctant to take credit.

"I was just the first one here to make sure that everyone was safe, that's all," he said.

But if it wasn't for his actions, the fire could have turned out differently for Vasquez and his family, though watching his house burn was far from easy.

"I couldn't believe it," Vasquez said. "Just try to take everything calm, take it day by day and see what happens tomorrow."

The Vasquez family is staying at his boss' house right now.

No one was injured in the fire, and its cause is still under investigation.

Find Jessica on Facebook at ABC13JessicaWilley or on Twitter at @jwilleyabc13

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