Four houses damaged in 2-alarm fire north of downtown Houston

March 12, 2013 3:24:34 PM PDT
Four homes were damaged Tuesday after 2-alarm fire in north Houston. Firefighters rushed to save all they could.

The fire started at around 11:45am in the 1600 block of Hardy near Brooks. Flames ravaged a shed near downtown Houston sending thick, black smoke into the air. Within moments, the blaze had engulfed one side of the street and threatened to jump to the other side.

Inside one of the homes was an elderly couple who refused to get out.

"He was crying, 'Ah, ah, ah.' I don't know what was happening," said neighbor Manuel Ronquillo.

As residents raced out of their homes, some tried to put out the flames themselves.

"I tried with a water hose to try to keep some of the flames off our house, but the heat was just too intense," said Rene Martinez.

Rebecca Recio told us, "I was freaking out. The whole side of my house caught on fire."

When firefighters arrived a few minutes later, they pulled out the elderly couple and began an offensive attack. But even more than 70 firefighters weren't enough to stop the fire from destroying three homes and damaging another. Several cars also caught on fire.

"These are very, very old houses, probably built back in the mid-20s, and they have very high ceilings and very high attics so the wind just carried the fire through both attics," said Jay Evans with the Houston Fire Department.

Firefighters rescued dogs, cats and birds. And even though nobody was hurt, many here lost everything they own.

"You're speechless. What can you say?" said Elisa Martinez.

HFD says the fire was under control at around 12:30pm.

Many of those who lost their homes are trying to figure out what to do next.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire.

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