Two Collinsville families were displaced after the home they reportedly shared was largely destroyed in a fire Tuesday night.
Collinsville Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Damon Stewart said crews were dispatched to the 1400 block of Boren Road shortly before 6 p.m. on Tuesday after receiving a 911 call from one of the homeowners.
“We had a 4,200-square-foot, brick structure with two stories that had heavy fire involvement out the roof,” Stewart said. “All the occupants had already exited the structure and we made an offensive attack.”
Stewart estimated that seven to eight people were home when the fire broke out, but said no one was injured. Fire crews from Collinsville, Whitesboro, Tioga, Howe, Sadler, Southmayd, Gunter and Cooke counties all responded to the blaze, which they battled for nearly four hours. Stewart added that the firefighters’ efforts were hindered by a host of factors, including the home’s rural location, a lack of access to fire hydrants, limited water tanker capacities and cold temperatures.
“The sub-freezing temperatures created issues with the fact that the house had concrete walkways all the way around it and a large driveway,” Stewart said. “So everything that was concrete was covered in ice with the amount of water that we were putting on it (the fire).”
Stewart said crews extinguished the flames by approximately 10 p.m. and were able to save what he described a game room and office area. He said the families were able to retrieve documents and belongings from the section of the home, before embers rekindled the following morning and damaged much of the remaining structure.
Investigators had not determined the cause of the fire as of Thursday afternoon, Stewart said. Nonetheless, he encouraged homeowners to be cautious with heating appliances and to always contact emergency services if they believe there may be the threat of a fire.
“This time of the year, just take precautions in your heating methods,” Stewart said. “And have an understanding that especially in a rural area, where you have limited water supplies, always be sure to notify authorities if you think you have a problem, if you think you have a fire, if you think you smell smoke.”