House in north Houston destroyed by wind-fueled fire

This home in north Houston was destroyed by the time firefighters were able to get a handle on the wind-fueled flames

March 24, 2013 7:07:02 PM PDT
Local firefighters had to overcome a tough barrier while doing their job Sunday: the weather.

A Red Flag Warning is now in effect for several counties in our area because of high winds and low humidity.

A 1-alarm house fire in north Houston grew fast and gave firefighters trouble.

The Houston Fire Department was called to the house on Fulton Street at Hankla Street around 1:45pm. Smoke was thick and flames were intense when firefighters arrived.

Juan Razo was inside his home of 35 years when the fire started. His wife was asleep.

"I heard her screaming for me," Razo said.

He said he opened the door to the room where she was and saw flames crawling up the wall. He got her out and considered getting the hose from outside until he remembered there was a bag of 22-caliber ammunition in the corner of the room closest to the fire.

"When I heard some popping, I got away," Razo said.

Firefighters attacked the blaze at first from inside and out, but they quickly had to retreat and go into "defensive" mode, fighting the fire from the outside because the winds were whipping the flames out of control.

They got a handle on it, but not before the home was consumed.

"It was like a blowtorch," HFD Chief Kevin Carley said.

Carley said they pay specific attention to the wind when there is a Red Flag Warning. Crews attack only from the upwind side in an effort to minimize exposure to danger.

"On a day like today with the wind blowing like it is, it makes it extremely dangerous," Carley explained.

HFD asks you to be particularly careful with anything involving a flame outside during a Red Flag Warning. The winds can quickly change direction. This house fire is one example of how quickly things can be destroyed.

Razo and his wife got out of their home before being injured, but he house is a total loss. He tells us they do not have insurance.

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