Weatherford Democrat

March 31, 2014

Family escapes home fire


Weatherford Democrat

— By JUDY SHERIDAN

A couple and two young children escaped a large fire in their home in the 8000 block of Ashbriar Lane in Fort Worth Tuesday night.

The multi-alarm fire damaged about 40 percent of the 4,800-square foot structure, according to ESD 1 Assistant Fire Chief Steven Watson.

“There were no injuries,” Watson said. “One resident was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.”

Parker County Fire Marshal Investigator Lanny Padgett pointed to a little-used fireplace on the back porch as the fire’s probable cause.

“The homeowner recently inquired about converting it to gas,” he said. “It hasn’t been cleaned in four years, but they set a fire in it that night.

“The fire started in the roof right over that; from the attic it rolled through the house.”   

All the family members were home when the fire started, Watson said.

“My understanding is the smoke detectors started going off and the power began flickering,” he said. “The house filled with smoke, and the family left and called 911.”

Watson said the Aledo Fire Department was dispatched at 9:25 p.m. to the gated community in the Aledo school district some seven miles southeast of Aledo, arriving 10 minutes later to see flames burning through the west side of the roof.    

Aledo was joined by departments from Crowley, Cresson and Benbrook, he said, enlisting two engines, four tankers and 26 firefighters in an aggressive attack with multiple routes.

“We sent a crew from Aledo through the front door, and they were able to find an attic access on the west side, finding super heavy fire conditions,” he said.

“There was a fire on the exterior at the back of the house and we sent the Cresson crews there. Additional guys from Aledo and Benbrook went to the second floor, and that’s where we made the stop,” he said.

Watson said the fire was under control by 10:21 p.m., less than an hour after their arrival. “We were on the scene for two more hours doing an overhaul and salvaging things,” he said.

Four bedrooms, an office, the kitchen and a room with workout equipment were untouched by the fire with the exception of some light smoke, Watson said.

“They were saved and in good shape,” he said.

Parker County Appraisal District records show the home’s value as $458,000, with the 3.9-acre lot valued at $200,000.

“There will be significant construction and repair work,” Watson said. “The roof over the the living area is burned out. But I seriously doubt insurance adjustors will call it a total loss.”