RAYMONDVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Three Raymondville families are picking up the pieces after a fire destroyed their homes on Valentine’s Day morning.
Raymondville Fire Chief Lauro Gutierrez said a home in between the Ibarra family house and the home of Noe Zamorano caught fire from a heat lamp that was used to warm a dog.
The fire eventually spread to two families’ homes that were on the opposite sides of the house.
“We believe it started with a heat lamp in the garage that was keeping the animals and pets warm,” said Chief Gutierrez.
The Ibarra family credited their grandmother’s quick thinking when she woke up and realized a part of her home was burning because of her neighbor’s house.
“Mom woke up around 3:30 in the morning to go to the restroom, heard some noise, told dad and he looked outside the window and said ‘hey the neighbor’s house is burning,” said the Ibarra family.
The Ibarra family said they warned their neighbors their house was on fire.
As for the other neighbor who was affected by the fire, Noe Zamorano said he was grateful the police were able to get his mom out of the house before it went up in flames, and for now, they will be staying at a relative’s house.
Once the fire was safely put out Zamorano tried to look for anything he could salvage but was unsuccessful.
“It is devastating because I lost everything. I just have what I have on right now. [his clothes]” He added, “Everything is either burned or either smoke-damaged or water damaged.”
Both the Ibarra and Zamorano families said they plan to rebuild their properties.
Chief Gutierrez said the fire was ruled accidental and as of now no charges have been made against the homeowners whose house started the fire.
However, he warns residents to be cautious when using any type of heater. “If you’re using a heat lamp or space heater don’t place it over a carpet or materials that are flammable,” said the chief.