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Three fires break out overnight around Coastal Bend

Posted at 12:56 AM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 12:05:03-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Heavy winds contributed to the workload of area fire companies battling on fronts across the Coastal Bend late Tuesday night, and into Wednesday morning.

The Corpus Christi Fire Department responded to a fire first spotted at around 12:15 a.m. at 16th and McKenzie Streets in Corpus Christi.

Firefighters said the 40-mph. wind didn't hamper fighting the fire but did cause the heavy smoke produced by the fire to be blown around the area.

"The high winds made the fire intensify . . . and burn a lot quicker," said Battalion Chief J.D. Johnson.

Rick Ramirez lives in the neighborhood. He said he didn't know if anyone was in the home, but when he realized what was happening he tried to help.

"I tried to get to the front door and I couldn't -- it was just way too hot," he said "I was like 15 feet away and I couldn't get to the front door. The wind shifted; the flames came out half way to the street."

CCFD said the affected property, a vacant house which was under renovation, was destroyed.

"I tried to get inside of it!" he said. "I tried to go save somebody. Whatever. I don't know who's in there! But it was crazy!"

No cause has been determined, and fire investigators were called to the scene.

Nueces Co. ESD No. 2 said it received calls at around midnight reporting smoke and flames near State Hwy. 286 and Co. Road 22, on the Crosstown extension near Church Unlimited.

Firefighters said a downed power line caused a brush fire that spread to a nearby abandoned house.

As of 12:55 a.m., crews were monitoring hotspots.

The Portland Fire Department also was busy working to control two fires that began at around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday night in Gregory. It was put out by 1 a.m.

Portland fire officials said a power line was knocked down by high winds, sparking two separate fires -- one inside the Cheniere facility and a brush fire outside the gate.

Officials said the high winds made putting the fire out a challenge, but help from various neighboring agencies allowed the fire to be controlled quickly.

One construction trailer was damaged.

No injuries were reported at any of the fires.