Massive fire destroys pie shop in north Harris County

By Phil Archer - Reporter , Gianna Caserta - Reporter

HOUSTON - A north Harris County business went up in flames early Friday morning.

Charred wood and burnt metal is all that's left of My Dee Dee's Pie Shoppe and Deli on West Gulf Bank Road.

"Her life is just gone, her business, that is all she has," said family friend Roberta Blasdell.

She spoke exclusively with Local 2 about her friend Bella Curtis and the successful business Curtis has run for over 20 years.

"My phone rang and she called me, and she said my house is on fire, and that is all I could audibly understand, she was so upset," said Blasdell.

It isn't the first time tragedy has struck her family. Local 2 interviewed her back in April of 2010 when her 33-year-old son was killed in a hit-and-run accident just down the street from the shop. His killer was never found.

"There are more devastating things than losing my business. I lost my son down the street a couple of years ago," Curtis said.

A year after Curtis' son died, her mother, Dee Dee (the shop's namesake), passed away at Thanksgiving. And just a month ago, her father, who is a retired county detective, died.

"Everybody is well, my family is with me, no one was hurt, there's no life lost. It's just a building," Curtis said.

Firefighters say it was around 7 a.m. Friday when Blasdell heard the sounds of the fire and knew something was wrong.

"I woke up because I heard all of the helicopters and sirens and I knew it was very close, and the closer it got, I just had this sinking feeling that it was her pie shop," said Blasdell.

From Sky 2 you could see the massive flames shooting up from the business, which is connected to Curtis' home. She was out of town for the holidays, but two other people were sleeping inside the home when the fire sparked.

"They heard the crackling, and smelled smoke and that exited the building," said Lt. Dean Hensley, Harris Co. Fire Marshal.

Bobby Brooks managed to feel his way out even though blinded by smoke. He was treated for minor smoke inhalation.

"I was amazed to see how much flame there was when I came out. I said, 'Oh my goodness, somebody is watching over me today,'" said Brooks, a resident.

The fire appears to have started in the kitchen area of the business, which was destroyed by the flames. Firefighters worked to keep the fire from spreading to the home.

"They have done a really good job at saving the front of this house and that is what has been their main goal is to save the front of this house," said Hensley.

There was another rescue Friday morning. Two small dogs trapped on the third floor were brought out safely by the Little York Volunteer Fire Department.

Friends have set up a fund for Curtis to help her get back on her feet. She insists she'll rebuild and reopen.

If you would like to donate, you can go to any Wells Fargo and donate money to DeeDee's Pies.

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