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Firefighters lose battle in Thursday morning fire

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Multiple volunteer fire departments, EMS personnel and Bandera County Sheriff's Office deputies worked together to bring a structure fire under control Thursday morning, Feb. 9. However, Bandera County Fire Marshal John Stith declared the home a total loss.

Passersby reported seeing smoke issuing from the large ranch-style home located at 5612 Highway 173 North around 10 am. Bandera County Sheriff's Office MSgt. Danny Bowermaster was the first to arrive on the scene and informed dispatch that "the structure was fully involved," said Stith.

Bandera Volunteer Fire Department arrived shortly thereafter. Also called to the scene were Medina VFD, Lakeshore VFD, Pipe Creek VFD and Castle Lake VFD. "They provided the additional resources and water," said Stith.

The homeowner was out of state at the time of the disaster. A well-behaved blue heeler had managed to escape the home.

The property is appraised at $200,000.
Stith reported that the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but preliminary findings indicate it was electrical in nature.

"The fire was through the roof when the fire department arrived," said Stith. "They just had to take a defensive stand until more help arrived. The firefighters did a good job containing it."

The whole top of the house burned away, but the fire was kept away from some rooms in the back. However, there was heavy smoke and water damage throughout the structure.
Stith said he was pleased with the way the different organizations cooperated. "The BCSO contacted the Bandera Electric Co-op and they turned the power off," he said. "There was very good cooperation between the various agencies to make it a safe operation."

One volunteer firefighter received a minor injury during the fire.

The fire call came in to dispatch at 9:51 am, at 10:35 it was called under control, and the last units left the scene at 4 pm.