Woman killed in NE Harris County house fire

The fatal fire was at this house in the 134000 block of Highland Castle Lane at Breeze Park Drive (Sonia Azad)

February 11, 2012 4:53:35 PM PST
A family was grieving Saturday after a northeast Harris County woman lost her life in a house fire.

The fire broke out around 10:30am Saturday at a home in the 13400 block of Highland Castle Lane at Breeze Park Drive. It's in a subdivision between Crosby Freeway and East Sam Houston Parkway North.

"There was a big explosion in the window," witness Juwana Roberts said. "Fire engulfed the front part of the house."

What could have been a typical Saturday was now shrouded in tragedy.

Firefighters with the Cloverleaf Volunteer Fire Department were able to extinguish the blaze, but the woman did not survive.

"The husband told us that she was in the front bedroom," Dep. Chief Doug Clough said. "When our team from the back did get into the bedroom, they found it was too late."

Officials described the woman as elderly and said she couldn't escape from the flames that trapped her inside her home.

Neighbor Joel Reed said the woman's husband was in the back, trying to put out the blaze with a garden hose. Reed went to try to save her.

"Went to the side window on the side of the house and glass was so hot you couldn't even touch it," Reed said.

Fire crews had problems getting to her, too.

"There were burglar bars on the doors and windows, which did slow us down some," Clough said.

Roaring flames fueled by unforgiving wind quickly ravaged the front of the house, leaving behind half a home and half a couple who had spent decades in it.

"Words can't explain today," Roberts said. "Just stay prayerful for this family."

The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office is looking into how the fire started. Arson is also investigating.