Weatherford Democrat

January 15, 2013

Cause of house fire to remain unknown


Weatherford Democrat

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By JUDY SHERIDAN

jsheridan@weatherforddemocrat.com

The cause of a four-alarm fire north of Cresson Jan. 4 that burned a 5,600-square-foot house to the ground will likely remain open-ended, according to Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott.

Scott said Wednesday that the level of damage done to the two-story home in the 100 block of West hidden Meadow Court — listed at $1.5 million — has made the determination next to impossible. 

“There are several plausible explanations, but nothing that stood out as a smoking gun,” Scott said. “We still have work to do interviewing the homeowner — he was on medication during the initial interview — but I don’t see that he’ll be able to help a whole lot.”

Scott said the homeowner, a diabetic, blacked out while operating a skid-steer loader on his 5-acre lot, driving it into his residence. The 48-year-old man, who is OK now according to Scott, was found unconscious by two neighbors, who saw smoke rising, found the man unconscious next to his vehicle and pulled him to safety.

The man was later transported by LifeCare to a Fort Worth hospital. 

“There is evidence of him hitting the house,” Scott said. “There is no direct impact to the electrical panel, but who’s to say whether or not he hit a gas line?”

Scott said propane was connected to the house and the lines were venting, contributing to the spread of the fire. The home’s construction, with an open floor plan and common attic, added to the fire’s rapid escalation.

The blaze went to four alarms mainly because of the amount of water needed to extinguish it, according to Cresson VFD Fire Chief Joe Huffman.

Cresson, Aledo, Springcreek, Willow Park and Silver Creek fire departments responded to the dispatch — shortly after 2 p.m. — as well those from Tarrant, Johnson and Hood counties.

Flames were coming from the roof, and the structure was well-involved when they arrived.

The home, which had a 15-seat home theater, game room and heated pool and spa according to the real estate listing, was insured, according to Scott.