The fire is believed to have ignited from a heating lamp. With temperatures plunging into the 20s, the lamp was being used to keep the family pet warm.
Refugio VFD Assistant Fire Chief Marvin Null, who works nearby at Butler Oil Tool Company, kept the fire at bay with a garden hose until firemen arrived.
The firefighters removed siding and insulation material to extinguish the remaining fire in the wall.
“This could have been much, much worse,” Fire Chief Don Pullin said.
A dog house, hay used as the animal’s bedding and a lawn mower were burning when Null arrived. Bits of the heating lamp were found among the rubble.
Nobody was home at the time of the fire.
The home owner, who was at work at the county appraisal district, said she had been using the heating lamp to keep the dog from suffering in the cold weather.
“I usually unplug the heating lamp before I leave for work, but it was so cold this morning, I left it on,” Henning said.
Scrappy, a hefty pit bull, was not injured during the fire. Another dog inside the home was unscathed as well.
The fire chief said calm weather conditions kept the fire from spreading quickly.
A fierce wind that has blasted the county over the past few days had subsided.
“The fire would have been much worse if we had had the wind we had over the weekend,” Pullin said.
Power to the house was cut off until the damage to the wiring can be assessed.