HOUSTON - The New Year got off to a heartbreaking start for members of one extended family in the Cypress area when a fire killed a pet dog and destroyed a home and a garage apartment.
Fire investigators believe fireworks started the blaze that left several adults and children -- ages 2, 8, 10 and 14 -- homeless.
"They're devastated, but grateful that everybody got out alive," said Ginger O'Conner, who says her brother does not have insurance on the home or garage apartment.
The family also lost a pet dog in the fire, but another dog managed to escape.
O'Conner says the American Red Cross is helping the family with some immediate needs, but she hopes members of the community will find it in their hearts to help the family with their long-term needs, including shelter, food and clothing.
The family spent Wednesday trying to salvage personal belongings and family heirlooms.
"We found a couple of things from my mother and now we're looking for my dad's flag from his funeral to see if it survived," said O'Conner. "Right now they have nothing, I have family members that don't even have shoes."
The fire department also returned to continue investigating the blaze and help the family.
"Right now the probable cause of the fire is fireworks related," said Captain Brian Shirley.
Capt. Shirley says his department had to bring in a tank truck for water to fight the blaze because the neighborhood does not have fire hydrants.
We're told a Facebook page 'Help the Newsoms' has been set up to help the family.
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