By Michele Stevens Bernard, TSB Lifestyle Editor
Smoke from a house fire Thursday night at the 500 block of Josephine Street, deep in the heart of McKinney’s Historic District, could be seen from as far away as the intersection of Hwy. 75 and Hwy. 380, eyewitnesses told TownSquareBuzz.com (TSB)
Described by a resident who was trying to make her way home Thursday night as “raining fire,” one photo taken by McKinney resident Ryan Mullins was shot as he traveled south on College St.
“I first saw the smoke from the parking lot at Denny’s,” said Mullins. “As I drove down White Street I could tell [the fire] was much closer than I thought. When I looked down Josephine from College, I saw a house engulfed in flames and the electrical pole in front of the house on fire.”
According to the McKinney Fire Department, at approximately 8:31 p.m. on Thursday, August 16, fire crews from Fire Station No. 1 on McDonald St., and Fire Station No. 3 on Eldorado Pkwy. responded to the reported structure fire. As personnel reported visible smoke from the vicinity of the reported fire, a second alarm was placed on the call.
Three homes were involved in the fire with one reported as a total loss. Structures on either side of the loss sustained moderate to severe damage. No injuries were reported.
A young man, who identified himself as Ernesto, lived next door to the house that burned to the ground. According to Ernesto, the house was vacant. He reported that even though his home, as well as the home to the other side of the vacant house caught fire and sustained serious damage, his wife, young child and he, as well as his elderly neighbors all escaped injury.
A total of 10 fire department units, four chief officers and one safety officer reported to the scene. Multiple police units were also on the scene providing traffic and crowd control, as it was estimated that more than 100 bystanders congregated at one point during the blaze. Fire apparatus and personnel from Allen and Fairview filled in at McKinney fire stations for the duration fo the operation.
The last of the fire was reported out at 9:13 p.m. The cause and origin of the blaze is currently under investigation.
“It was a great job by the McKinney Fire Department keeping [the fire] from being worse, and putting it out so quickly,” said Mullins.
The McKinney Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms save lives.
“While the loss of property is devastating, we are lucky that there were no injuries and fatalities,” said MFD Public Information Officer Stacie Durham, “This incident reinforces the importance of having smoke alarms in each bedroom of your home, in hallways outside bedrooms, and in all other areas of the home where someone is likely to fall asleep. Alarms should be tested monthly by pushing the test button and batteries should be changed at least yearly.”
For more pictures, please view the Image Gallery below.
In partnership with the Texas Department of Insurance, the McKinney Fire Department participates in the “Out to Alarm Texas” program, offering and installing free smoke alarms for low income and/or senior residents. If you are in need of smoke alarms, contact the Life Safety Office of the McKinney fire Department at 972-547-2893.
In addition to emergency services, the McKinney fire Department is your resource for life safety and risk reduction information and education. For more information or to schedule an event for your club or organization visit www.mckinneyfire.org or call 927-547-2893.
Photos embedded courtesy of Ryan Mullins