Fireplace starts house fire

HOUSTON - Fire investigators said a fireplace left unattended started a fire that destroyed part of a southwest Houston family's home Wednesday.

The blaze started around 3:45 a.m. at the home on Boridge Circle and Beechaven Drive.

Firefighters told Local 2 that the family went to bed and left the fire burning. The fire flared and set the side walls on fire and spread to the second floor. 

"All of the burn patterns do support that the fire got outside of the flue," Houston Fire Department District Chief Dina Elliot said.

The flames were so intense they burned off the roof of the two-story home and destroyed the second floor.

Germil Rhone arrived at the home after the fire started and rushed to get his mother and sister out. Everyone inside the home was able to get out safely.

The family lost everything and didn't have insurance.

"We lost everything, but we're still blessed -- we've got each other," Rhone said. "That's the only thing that really matters."

It was unclear if maintenance played a role in the fire, but Houston firefighters recommend homeowners have their fireplaces inspected by a professional before using them. 

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