Fire destroys Pasadena home, but family members escape


The fire broke out just before 7am on Still Creek and Turtle Creek. The family inside did manage to make it out safely but then could only watch as fire destroyed their home.

Homeowner Mark Zingange tells Eyewitness News he woke up to a popping noise coming from the garage.

"I heard pop, pop, pop, pop and my golf cart had caught on fire," said Zingange.

A golf cart that was left charging apparently overheated, causing the fire. Before he knew it, Zingange's garage was engulfed in flames. Fortunately he was able to get his wife and two sons, ages 12 and 16, out of the house safely.

"We all got out. I was able to get my truck and my son's vehicle out," he said. "I was trying to go back and get my wife's but I didn't have the key in my key ring and by the time I got it -- it wasn't safe to get underneath it. The whole porta cache was on fire."

Firefighters say the detached garage's breezeway helped the fire quickly spread to the house.

"It's basically like a horizontal chimney and carries the fire right into the main structure," said Pasadena Fire Marshal David Brannon.

Three fire departments responded and an hour later there wasn't much left. The house is a total loss and there is minimal damage next door.

What Zingange never imagined was that something as simple as a golf cart is to blame, but he's grateful that no one was hurt.

"All the stuff can be replaced, my family can't," he said.

The family will be staying with relatives right now. An investigation is underway. Fire investigators do plan to contact the manufacturers of the golf cart and the battery in question.

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