Posted: Jan 21, 2013 11:56 AM by Janine Reyes
Updated: Jan 21, 2013 1:30 PM
CORPUS CHRSITI -- Two homes burned down in a massive morning fire in Calallen. Fire crews say they received the call just before 6 a.m. They had the fire under control around 7:20.
A police captain's wife is in critical condition, being treated for burns. Karen Starrs suffered burns on her upper body. Her husband, Ken Starrs, had to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The couple's neighbors made it out of their home safely.
Kerry Williams watched in disbelief early this morning as fire crews worked to try and save the home she's had for 23 years.
Early this morning, her husband left for work, shortly after, a popping noise woke her up around 5:30.
"I went to the window and saw flames in the window of my kitchen, got my grandchildren and daughter, and we came outside and here we are," Williams said.
As she quickly gathered everyone inside, her neighbor, Ken Starrs and firefighters began knocking on her front and back door to get everyone out.
Luckily, her 6 and 3-year-old granddaughters got out in time, along with her daughter, Jaime Brown. "I fell asleep then I heard my mom saying Jamie hurry the house is on fire, get out," Brown said.
As soon as everyone got out, Brown went back in the burning home. "My little girl has had this baby blanket ever since she was born and she was crying for it," explained Brown, "so, I ran back in to get that and my mom had yelled, get the dog."
"She kind of hid and my daughter went back in to get her," Williams explained.
Jamie did find Bailey; the 7-year-old four-legged family member is just fine, too.
Despite losing almost everything, today, this family is counting their blessings.
"My neighbors have come and brought us clothes and coffee and it's a terrible mess, but we're all out safe and the rest of the things can be replaced," Williams said.
Fortunately, not everything is gone. "The fireman said, we found one purse, because the cell phone was ringing, so they're going in and checking for hot spots and bringing out things," Williams told us.
The fire took more than an hour to contain. Fire crews say the terrain and some power lines made it harder to fight. "We had some power lines down that were on cars, and kind of in between the houses, it made it very difficult for firefighters to get to," Corpus Christi Assistant Fire Chief Randy Paige said.
About 40 Corpus Christi firefighters responded to this morning's fire. Annaville firefighters also assisted.
Both homes are a total loss.
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