Bella-Katherine Curtis opened My Dee Dee's Pie Shoppe on West Gulf Bank 22 years ago. Just two days ago, she sold 2,000 Thanksgiving pies out of the busy kitchen -- all of them homemade, baked in customized glass dishes.
But Friday morning around 7am, crews from multiple local fire departments were called to the business for a massive fire.
"It appears to have started in the kitchen area" said Lt. Dean Hensley with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office.
There is a home connected to the business. Two people were inside that home when the fire started. We're told they were trapped by flames, but were able get out with some help from good Samaritans.
Jacqueline Lavarn was sleeping in the apartment upstairs when she heard passers-by honking their horns.
"They were like, 'Get out of the house,' and then I guess one of the neghborhood people came and got a ladder and got me out," Lavarn said.
Firefighters later rescued her puppy, who was hiding in her bedroom. Another tenant, Bobby Brooks, also woke up to flames.
"When I opened the closet door, smoke just rolled out and I was like, 'Oh, wow, there's a fire somewhere,'" Brooks said. "I didn't have time to get anything but grab a pair of britches, and I had to feel my way all the way up."
Brooks was taken to an area hospital and treated for minor smoke inhalation.
The home was damaged, but is not a total loss. The pie shop, however, was destroyed.
"It's my life," she said. "But I'm going to figure it out, and I have many people around me who support me and will give me the strength to figure it out."
Now that everyone is safe, Curtis is already planning to rebuild. She said she doesn't have insurance and isn't sure what to do next, but she has faith that it will all work out.
"I'm going to dream by the grace of God that everything is going to be OK. But I don't have to dream. I know," Curtis said.
Perhaps there will be a new pie shop, also named for Dee Dee, who passed away on Thanksgiving two years ago.
"This is who my shop is named after -- my mother," Curtis said. "If there's a breath in me, there will be a pie somewhere, so I'm going to do my best."
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
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