A fire burnt through a home in southwest Houston Sunday right next door to the home of a Houston firefighter.
It happened on Swiss Hill at Coachlight and firefighters said a woman who lived there alone was able to escape before the fire spread through her entire home.
More than 35 firefighters battled the flames from the outside. The fire department said they couldn't get far enough inside before being blocked.
"There's quite a bit of debris, trash in the house. That fed the fuel to the fire," HFD Deputy Fire Chief Blake White said.
The homeowner, who doesn't want to be identified, said she woke up feeling the heat from the fire on her skin and ran out for help before she could rescue her two dogs and several cats. Neighbors said one of her dogs ran to a neighbor's home but they aren't sure if the other animals made it out.
With an increasing fire, the fire department evacuated the homes on either side, and realized that just next door was the home of one of their own, a firefighter and his family.
"It was very difficult. Especially to not have gear on. It was very difficult," said Mike Cockrell who said he was going to the fire station just hours after the fire to clock in.
But even without his gear, Cockrell's stepson, Nick Grabowski, said he stepped in to help.
"I thought it was kind of heroic. I mean, he just kind of went to work. It was just another day on the job for him. I mean he came out just in the middle of sleep and went to work," Grabowski said.
For neighbors, it was an unbelievable sight and an unforgettable early-morning wake up call.
Arson investigators are looking into the cause of the fire.
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