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Two house fires mar weekend

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Two house fires that occurred the weekend of Friday, Feb. 6, put a damper on Cowboy Mardi Gras festivities for residents of Medina and Pipe Creek.
At 3:41 pm, on Friday, a neighbor reported smoke coming from a doublewide manufactured home on Elam Road in Medina. Responding volunteer fire departments included units from Medina, Bandera, Tarpley, Utopia and Vanderpool.
The neighbor who had called 9-1-1 attempted to put out the fire that apparently originated on the porch. However, he was unable to extinguish the flames, which apparently spread rapidly. When firefighters from Medina arrived, the home was fully engulfed in flames. They were unable to save the contents, but prevented the fire from spreading.
The owner was not at home when the blaze started. Her home was a 100 percent loss, according to Bandera Fire Marshal John Stith. He is still investigating the cause of the fire.
Firefighters left the scene of the fire at approximately 9 pm.
At 2:46, Saturday, Feb. 7, a neighbor reported smelling and seeing smoke at a home in the 200 block of West Pipe Creek Drive in Pipe Creek.
When members of the Pipe Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded, they observed flames shooting through a front bedroom window.
Although the fire burned about 30 percent of the home, fire, smoke and water damaged the remainder of the home's contents. "Firefighters acted aggressively in the home's interior to prevent the fire from spreading," Stith said.
According to Stith, a preliminary investigation pointed to an extension cord leading to a space heater in the homeowner's son's room as the probable cause of the fire.
After the fire was extinguished, firefighters sifted through the debris in the son's room, attempting to locate his newly purchased class ring. After the damaged ring was located, jewelry artisans at Hy O Silver, 1107 12th Street, offer to restore it.
"They cleaned and polished the ring at no charge," Stith said. "It was a very nice gesture. It only proves there are a lot of good people in this community."