HOUSTON – A family has lost their home and their pet after an overnight blaze ripped through their northeast Houston home.
The blaze broke out around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday at a home on Blue River Drive near Grey Oaks Drive, firefighters said.
When they arrived, firefighters saw heavy flames and smoke coming from the home, and it took about an hour to put the fire out.
According to the family, they plugged in a space heater in the garage to keep their 2-year-old dog, Kane, warm.
At some point in the morning, the space heater caught fire and the blaze erupted in the garage and spread to the attic, killing the dog.
The husband and wife inside the home were able to get out, and the husband was examined due to a heart condition but was not transported.
According to the couple's daughter, Chiquita Williams, her parents lost everything.
"It's heartbreaking, of course, to see my parents lose everything," Williams said. "It's materialistic, but it's stuff they've (had) for years – memories. Just to see that in flames is heartbreaking."
Williams said Kane was her dog, and losing him was like losing a family member.
"It's like me and him. That's my best friend," Williams said. "Keep your dogs safe and in a house … but don't use space heaters."
Firefighters advise people to have their HVAC systems checked and cleaned to have them ready for the cold season.
If you are using a space heater, it is advised to always plug it into a wall outlet and never use an extension cord, because it can overload it and cause a fire.
Officials also say to never use the kitchen stove to stay warm.