Fire destroys mansion at White House Ranch in Friendswood

By Rose-Ann Aragon - Reporter

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas - Firefighters from the Friendswood area worked all night Thursday into Friday morning to put out a fire that devoured a mansion at the White House Ranch. 

Friendswood Fire Marshal Brian Mansfield said the call came in at 10:38 p.m.

Mansfield said firefighters battled what seemed to be a seemingly endless blaze as storms rolled through the area. Officials said the fire at a house in the 1700 block of West Parkwood Avenue was caused by a lightning strike.

“The fire destroyed the residence, estimated at over a $2 million loss,” Chief Deputy Bryan Holmes said. “The cause of the fire is a lightning strike to the residence. Fortunately, no one was injured as a result of the fire."

Firefighters fought the flames through the night.

"911 had a phone call for the smell of smoke at a structure on West Parkwood Avenue at a residential, three-story structure," Mansfield said. "Several mutual-aid (units) came in, and they've been fighting the fire all night."

Firefighters said the family had noticed smoke, but no fire, and the alarms went off in time for them to escape. The family later realized that the attic had been burning for a while.

VIDEO: SKY2 flies over scene of Friendswood fire

"It was also the height of (the storm)," Mansfield said. "We had several lightning strikes in the area -- high winds, heavy rains and all of the other responses going on at the time."

The home used to be the White House Ranch, according to the home's contractor. The home is appraised at more than $2.6 million, but the contractor said it is worth much more than that.

"Right now there's an investigation going on, and they're in the process of doing a total overhaul," Mansfield said.

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