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2013-04-18

Fast moving blaze destroys Medina home

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

A residence in Medina was completely destroyed by a fire that raced through the structure the afternoon of Sunday, April 15, according to Bandera County Fire Marshal John Stith. Luckily, the family, who was at home at the time, escaped unharmed.

A house fire in the 14000 block of Highway 16 North was called in to emergency dispatch at approximately 3:44 pm. However, when firefighters arrived on scene just four minutes later, the 1,700 square foot structure was totally engulfed in flames, Stith reported in an interview on Monday, April 15.

The single-story brick home of Renado Davis was declared a total loss.

As a result of the fire, a portion of Highway 16 was closed most of the afternoon, with Bandera County Sheriff¡¦s Office deputies assisting with traffic control and diversion.

Units responding to the blaze included volunteer fire departments from Medina, Bandera and Tarpley. Medina VFD was designated primary unit on the call with Fire Chief Shane Keese serving as incident commander.

¡§Firefighters were able to use the community water supply from a nearby hydrant to fight the fire,¡¨ Stith said, indicating that the structure¡¦s brick walls allowed the fire to be contained to the single dwelling. However, at the same time, the bricks, along with the pier and beam construction, contributed to the ¡§hot and fast¡¨ conditions of the blaze.

During their five hours on the scene, firefighters primarily worked to contain the fire so it would not spread to nearby buildings.

According to Stith, preliminary investigations indicate that the cause of the blaze was an electrical element. ¡§It looks like it might have started in the bedroom then quickly spread throughout the rest of the house.¡¨

At this point, Stith said, concerns center around getting the family needed assistance. ¡§The American Red Cross has already been in contact with family members,¡¨ he said. ¡§We have a decent structure in place for helping families when disasters like this strike. Jesse Parks at Helping Hand is invaluable in these kinds of emergencies.¡¨

Although the house fire was deemed under control at 4:45 pm, Stith said firefighters have had to return to the scene several times to extinguish fires re-ignited in nearby trees. ¡§This isn¡¦t uncommon in these kinds of fires. There were a lot of trees in this area,¡¨ he added.

Pictured: Photo by Clare Barnett
A Medina home was completely destroyed by a fire that broke out the afternoon of Sunday, April 15.