Fire destroys RVs, boats at storage facility in NW Harris Co.


Just before 2am Tuesday, Ponderosa firefighters got a call about an explosion and fire at the RV and boat storage facility on FM 1960 near Mathis Church. Crews responded in minutes, but because of insufficient water supply, it took them an hour to put out the fire.

Looking for family mementos through what used to be his family's camper, Marshal Reed didn't plan on this.

"A lot of memories as we took our kids out camping every year, 10 or 12 times a year," said Reed.

There is not much to save out of the family camper. It, along with about 11 other RVs, went up in flames early Tuesday morning. Some were large fancy ones worth tens of thousands of dollars. Others, like Reed's RV, was passed down from his parents. All held sentimental value.

"I loved my RV. It's a house on wheels, 38 foot, with king size bed and everything else," said Allen Dashner.

Dave Kubiak just got back from a trip from Florida just yesterday.

"I spent all day yesterday cleaning it up, parked it at 7:30pm last night," he said. "I got the call this morning that it burned down to the ground."

By morning, his motor home was destroyed by flames.

About 40 firefighters from the Ponderosa, Spring, Klein, Little York and Champions Fire Departments responded to the large fire. It burned for about an hour and a half before crews were able to bring it under control.

"Approximately 1,600 feet away was the nearest hydrant and we did do that. It takes a little time," said Chief Fred Windisch with the Ponderosa Fire Department. "I will make a quick assumption that it's in the neighborhood of $300,000 or more of vehicle damage."

While crews saved a handful of vehicles, Kubiak's wasn't one of them. He has insurance but wants to know how his vehicle could go from being parked to debris overnight.

This is just one section of the RV storage facility. So when some owners drove up, they realized their RVs were safe and they feel incredibly lucky.

"That's so sad for all these people," said one woman.

The county fire marshal's office says the cause is still under investigation, but for now it looks like it was RV-related, not arson.

"We are examining the scene to try and determine the cause of this fire but due to the fire consuming so many vehicles. there are a lot of potential causes for the fire that we have to consider," said Investigator Bryan Holmes with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office. "We believe that the fire may have started in one of the recreational vehicles parked on the lot, but at this time, the cause of the fire is still under investigation."

"It was a short in one of the motor homes or something like that, we do not feel it was any vandalism," said Darnett Stephens, owner of the storage lot.

What is was though, was a lot of memories for a lot of families gone in one morning. For Marshal Reed, it also means vacation plans are on hold.

"We were planning to take a trip here either this weekend or next week, so I guess we won't be taking it with that trailer," he said.

Several owners told us they were going to have to rescheduled trips they had planned to take in their RVs.

The storage lot owner actually owns another business next door, but firefighters were able to put out the blaze before it spread.

There were no reports of any injuries.

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