HOUSTON – Firefighters battling a large house fire in northwest Houston lived through some intense moments when one the responders was separated from his team and an active mayday was called.
The fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday at a home on Badger Forest Drive near Birchtree Forest Drive, according to authorities.
When firefighters arrived, they found flames coming from the upstairs and roof of the two-story home. Firefighters started working the fire, and because they found no residents outside, they made an internal attack.
Once the team got upstairs the ceiling collapsed and the crew was separated, firefighters said.
"One firefighter went into one bedroom," said Mike Sangl, with the Houston Fire Department. "The crew went the other direction into a foyer on the second floor and we had an active mayday for about 3 to 4 minutes.”
The crew lost sight of the firefighter in the room and called an active mayday for about three to four minutes until they found the firefighter, who was brought out uninjured, firefighters said.
One other firefighter was transported to a hospital to be treated for a back injury, officials said.
The approximately 4,000-square-foot home is a total loss, authorities said.
One neighbor said when he saw the flames, he rushed to get his wife, three kids and pets out of the home, which was just feet away from the blaze.
“We woke up our kids, got them out of the house, moved our cars out of the driveway and tried to get away from the flames," said Mark Reynoso. "It was a huge fire. As I was moving my cars out of the driveway, pieces of the roof were falling onto my vehicle. it was hot. You could feel the flames coming off of the house. It was just intense heat.”
Firefighters believe the residents are out of town. Arson investigators are working to determine the cause of the blaze.