HOUSTON – Flames chased a family of five out their home in east Houston Wednesday morning.
Before horns or sirens wailed, members of the Brown family stood on Market Street watching decades of memories and Christmas dreams burn.
“Everything is gone,” said Sammie Anderson, who lived inside the house with his girlfriend, grandma and great aunt.
“I’ve been with (Anderson) two years, but it hurts because there are a lot of memories in that house,” said Tiara Charles, Anderson’s girlfriend.
“Yeah, my grandma (has) been having that house for like 25 years,” Anderson said.
It is where family gathered for holiday celebration. Loved ones said they had $1,000 worth of gifts under their tree. All five people inside were in bed when Anderson’s aunt smelled smoke.
“We was sleep and got a bam on the window for us to wake up,” Charles said.
“I heard my Auntie beating on the window and I tapped (Charles). I’m like 'baby get up! Baby get up! We gotta go.'”
Flames spread so fast, all inside felt lucky to escape. However, their loss couldn’t come at a worse time.
“I don’t know exactly what happened,” another relative said.
Investigators don’t know the cause. A barbershop next door also suffered damage. While it's owners are still counting their losses, the Browns know Christmas will not be the same.
The fire remains under investigation.