'The only friend I really had': Survivor says friend was killed in NE Harris Co. mobile home fire

Charly Edsitty Image
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Deadly mobile home fire was sparked by extension cord, officials say
A woman who managed to escape told ABC13 her best friend was among the two killed. Officials said an extension cord at one trailer home was being used to fully supply power to another.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A massive fire that killed two people in northeast Harris County was sparked by an overloaded extension cord, according to the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office.

Officials said an extension cord plugged in at one trailer home was being used to fully supply power to another trailer home on the property.

A survivor told ABC13 her best friend was one of the two people who died in the flames.

Video from the scene shows flames engulfing the trailer homes in the 8800 block of Furay Avenue near Mesa Drive. In total, three mobile homes were completely destroyed.

The Sheldon Fire Department was the first to arrive at the scene at 11:47 p.m. Monday.

Officials said there were multiple explosions on the property, meaning the fire was spreading to other areas quickly.

Firefighters went into heavy defense mode trying to contain the spread. They used tankers to spray the flames with water.

The Westfield Fire Department and the Eastex Fire Department also responded to help the Sheldon firefighters.

When the fire was extinguished and firefighters made their way into the debris, they found the two victims dead.

A woman who managed to make it out of the fire alive told ABC13 her best friend and a man in another trailer were the two people killed in the flames.

The survivor, Josephine Cervantes, said she was pulled to safety over a fence by a firefighter.

"I don't know what to think about right now," Cervantes said. "I'm just so confused."

Video from the aftermath of the fire shows piles of charred debris where the homes once stood.

Cervantes said she woke up to flames so hot, she couldn't even try to rescue anyone.

"I couldn't get past. My friend, Glenda Alexander, her trailer was in flames. That trailer was in flames," Cervantes said. "I couldn't get to see if she was OK or nothing. It was too hot."

Cervantes said a man named Carlos did not survive in the third trailer. Meanwhile, a fourth person managed to get out alive.

She said she survived thanks to the firefighters.

"The firemen put a ladder over the fence and got me out over the fence, but I don't know what to do now," Cervantes said. "My best friend lives in that trailer. The only friend I really had."

ABC13 cameras captured several people who had to be evacuated, including small children, being comforted by first responders at the scene.

"Two people were able to make it out. They have been transported to the hospital in stable condition," Brandi Dumas with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office said. "The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office is on scene conducing an investigation into the origin and cause."

Officials with the Red Cross were at the scene helping to provide shelter for those who lost their homes.

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