Members of the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department said they were told that a woman had been lighting a propane water heater at the residence when the gas flashed and she was burned.
According to the fire report at the C.M. “Smitty” Smith Central Fire Station, the woman realized she was burned, rushed to Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville and called 911 from the hospital to report the incident.
Assistant Fire Chief Lanny Holland said he had been told that the woman was unsure whether or not the flash had caused a fire in the residence.
However, by 8:14 a.m. firemen were dispatched to the home after someone reported a house fire. At the scene they found an open flame burning at the rear of the house and smoke coming from the attic area.
Fire Chief Donald C. “Donnie” Morris was one of the first firemen at the scene and he began directing the crew of the BVFD’s newest fire truck as they attempted to extinguish the flames.
Later, two BVFD tanker trucks arrived at the scene to provide more water for those fighting the flames.
The owner, Mike Juranek, showed up and tried to determine how much damage had been done to the small home.
Firemen were forced to break out windows to get to flames inside the structure and fire kept popping up at the rear of the house and under the eaves of the roof. Inside the home, firemen found a mother dog and three puppies, all of which had succumbed to smoke.
However, emergency medical service personnel from Angel Care Ambulance Service were able to revive two of the newborn puppies.
The fire report indicated that the house was badly damaged by smoke and fire at the rear, mostly around the water heater. However, heat, smoke and water probably caused damage to most of the contents throughout the house.
“It looks like a propane tank blew up or something,” Morris said at one point. When asked if the explosion had occurred inside the house, he said, “Looks to be that’s where the fire started.”
Although firemen apparently had the blaze under control by about 8:45 a.m., the report indicated that firemen remained on the scene until about 10:30.
Firemen spent much of Saturday evening pulling stranded motorists and residents from knee-deep water situations after a heavy rainstorm, according to other reports on file at the fire station.
Assistant Fire Chief Bill Burris said the first rescue was on Dickerson Road at about 6:42 p.m. after a mother called to report that she and three children were stranded in their mobile home by knee-deep water.
Firemen used a brush truck to reach the stricken family.
Then, at 7:25 p.m., firemen were sent to the intersection of Charco and Carr Roads after someone reported that two vehicles had been stranded by high water there.
Firemen took a woman and a man from the water and they were sent to the hospital for treatment.
The third rescue involved a woman on U.S. Highway 59 east of the city who had to be taken from her vehicle after she hit high water on the highway and her engine quit.
Firemen were called to respond to that incident at 8:10 p.m.