COLLEGE MOUND, Texas — Firefighters are citing a pet warmer as the likely cause of an overnight blaze that destroyed a Kaufman County family's home.
The fire was reported early Tuesday morning in the area of Hickory Tree Road.
According to the College Mound Fire Department, the 911 caller advised the porch caught fire and quickly spread throughout the residence. With this information, mutual aid was immediately requested from the Elmo Fire Department and Terrell Fire-Rescue.
Upon arrival, firefighters noted a double-wide mobile home enveloped in fire.
"Crews operated in a defensive mode, protecting surrounding buildings while extinguishing the blaze in the mobile home from the outside," read a statement from the College Mound Fire Department. "Unfortunately, the home was a total loss, but the family's shed, garden equipment, etc. were saved."
"Fire control efforts were hampered by the low temperatures/wind chills, high winds, and a difficult-to-maneuver driveway making water supply difficult," stated the department. "Temperatures dropped to 23 degrees with a wind chill of 11 and gusty 29MPH winds during the fire."
No serious injuries were reported however, a cat was found suffering from burns and other injuries. The cat was turned over to the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office Animal Control officers.
"The Kaufman County Fire Marshal's Office will ultimately determine the cause of the fire; however, preliminary information from the homeowner indicates that equipment used to provide a warm place for his outdoor pets started the blaze," stated the department. "Sadly, we see these sorts of fires every winter."
The department reminds residents to not leave any equipment which produces heat or fire unattended including; candles, stoves, and heat lamps.
CareFlite also responded for on-scene standby, the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office provided on-scene traffic control, and an American Red Cross Greater North Texas team responded to assist the family.