HOUSTON — The Houston Fire Department is looking to what caused a duplex to set on fire in the East End area. It happened shortly after midnight Saturday on Sherman Street.
A man living on the second floor was found in front of the duplex with first- and second-degree burns. A district chief at the scene said the victim just moved there that same day. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but his current condition is unknown.
The chief said there was another man living on the bottom floor. He was woken up by neighbors who knocked on his door to tell him about the fire. That man was not hurt.
Firefighters believe the explosion and fire may have started because of a gas leak. The victim said he lit a cigarette and heard the explosion shortly after.
One wall of the building was detached from the rest of the structure. The chief said that's not normal for a fire.
"Sometimes, flashovers cause explosions. But a cigarette, this quiet, this late with nothing else going on leads us to believe that it's a possible gas explosion," said District Chief Rocha.