HOUSTON A family of five lost everything just days before Christmas when their northwest Harris County home went up in flames overnight.

The Christie family was out running errands and when they returned to their home in the 1500 block of Corrall around 12:50 a.m., it was fully engulfed in flames.

Watching it all burn, there was only one thing on the distraught mother s mind.

How am I going to tell my younger two kids that the house is gone, said Thresir Christie.

Then there was another thing; a precious memento. Christi s older sons ran inside and grabbed her mother s photo, but that was all they could save.

Helpless, she and her family watched as the fire torched everything else; furniture, clothes and Christmas gifts.

But while their loss seems huge, the family focused on much bigger blessings.

I thank God that we weren t here. You know, we ve could ve been home, sleep, anything so that I thank God for, Christie said. You know, no one was in the home, no one got hurt, we ve come so far.

The mother could be to blame for what happened. She left a candle burning inside the home, saying she was planning to clean up her kitchen when she returned.

It is a mistake fire officials commonly warn against.

The message here is related to holiday safety. There is potential that this fire could have been caused by unattended candles, that is unclear at this time, said Chief Fred Windisch, Ponderosa Fire Department. The public should be aware of all types of electrical contacts, distributions, electrical cords, fireplaces and heating units in the house. All of those things could prevent a fire like this.

Klein, Spring, Little York and Champions Fire Departments assisted in battling the huge blaze. No firefighters were injured.

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