Families feel lucky to have escaped fire near downtown

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 3:54 AM

HOUSTON – A group of residents are lucky to be alive after they escaped a fire that spread to four homes early Tuesday afternoon near downtown.

The Houston Fire Department responded just before noon to a two-alarm fire near the intersection Hardy and Harrington streets. When they arrived, the flames were seen spreading to other homes.

Investigators said wind fanned the flames from a shed to each house chasing everyone out and separating Elisa Martinez from her 2-year-old Chihuahua.

“She got scared and panicked so she hid, so I don’t know if she died or not. I don’t know... I don’t know... but she’s in there. I don’t know where she’s at,” Martinez said.

The fire started at an auto repair shop, but exactly how is still under investigation.

When firefighters rolled up, they saw a building collapsing with the two homes behind it on fire. Then, in the middle of their firefight, they said wind blew burning embers into the attic across the street starting yet another fire.

Daniel Recia, who was on Spring Break from Texas State University, was about to shower when his sister scared him.

“She heard something pop from the back of our house so she ran behind there,” Recia said. She saw flames and got her brother and pets to safety.

Next door, Rene Martinez grabbed a garden hose to save his family’s 80-year-old home.

“It was just too hot. The heat was too intense. I just moved out of the way,” Martinez said.

Martinez’s brother, Roger, did the same thing and escaped on his knees. “I walked out... or crawled out. (You crawled out?) Yeah cause I’m amputated,” Roger Martinez said. Roger said he feels very lucky to have escaped.

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