CYPRESS, Texas – When their home went up in flames, a nightmare became a reality for two homeowners in Cypress, one of whom had to be rescued from the blaze.
Witnesses said an older couple lives in the home on Stable Brooke Circle near Stable Creek Circle in northwest Harris County.
Around 9 p.m. Monday, a woman came running out of the house screaming for help saying that her husband was trapped inside by the smoke and fire, witnesses said.
Marco Bergen lives one street over from the couple, and the large blaze caught his eye.
“I saw this huge black plume of smoke (that) looked like an oil fire,” said Bergen.
He heard the cries for help, so he and another neighbor jumped into action.
“The smoke was so intense you could not see anything at all,” said Bergen.
Bergen said he got on his hands and knees with his T-shirt around his nose, then crawled inside with the other neighbor.
“After a few times yelling, I heard something," said Bergen. "It was a very faint, 'I am here.'”
Using a phone’s flashlight to navigate through the thick black smoke, Bergen spotted the man’s slipper.
“We stood up, grabbed him by the feet and pulled him out,” said Bergen. "At that point, he was just struggling to get air, and at one point I thought he died. We lifted his head and he was spitting up black stuff. (Then) he started breathing and asked for oxygen."
According to firefighters, the blaze had only been going for a little while before they arrived. The flames consumed the garage, vehicles and significant portions of the home, officials said.
Firefighters were able to put the fire out in about 15 minutes, but around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday the flames reignited. That small fire was quickly put out, but firefighters are still at the home to ensure it doesn’t ignite a third time.
Both residents were transported to a hospital for smoke inhalation and two neighbors were treated at the scene, authorities said. One firefighter was taken to a hospital for heat exhaustion.
Everyone is expected to be OK.
Arson investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire, but they believe it started in the garage.