6 hospitalized after house fire in north Houston

December 31, 2011 4:35:48 PM PST
Fire officials said six people were rushed to an area hospital from a house fire in north Houston Saturday morning.

Of the six patients, two are women and four are young children, including a toddler. Their ages and conditions are unknown at this time.

A spokesman for the Houston Fire Department said they are all expected to survive.

The fire broke out around 9am at a two-story home in the 17100 block of Sunshine Bay Drive at Seminar Drive.

Heavy flames were coming from the house when responders arrived. All six victims were able to escape the burning house, but all they had burns to varying degrees and had to be taken to an area hospital.

Meanwhile, firefighters went into defensive mode, fighting the blaze from the outside. They got the flames under control in about 15 minutes.

Neighbors reported some sort of explosion before the fire.

"I heard a real loud boom. It scared me and shook the house," Ronald Jones said.

Firefighters say the powerful blast blew the fence off, broke every window out and sent glass flying 30 to 40 feet away.

"The kids were holding their arms like this, like they may have been burned and they were just standing next to their mom," Jones said.

Officials said one of the children was burned on the head. One of the adults was burned on her chest, hand and arm.

Fire officials say the gas meter at the home had been turned off prior to the explosion, so investigators are now searching for clues to what triggered the blast, leaving a family in the hospital and now homeless on New Year's Eve.

"It looks like everything in the house was destroyed," Jones said.

Firefighters say the home is now an unsafe structure will be torn down. Meanwhile, arson investigators are trying to figure out what caused this explosion. Arson is investigating.

We will continue following this developing story. Please stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for updates as they become available.