One dead in north Austin house fire

One dead in north Austin house fire

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One person is dead after being trapped inside a burning house in north Austin near Mo-Pac and Parmer Lane.

Flames are what first got Andrew Kurio's attention early Thursday morning. Before firefighters arrived he ran to the house down the street and saw a man climbing out a second story window.

"I was like jump, jump, jump you now get out of the house it's on fire. So he jumped and I caught him. And he was in shock He didn't realize the house was on fire.

Kurio says two other men made it out of the home. But when heard a fourth roommate was still inside he rushed to his truck to grab a ladder.

"I started trying to climb up there and I got about halfway and it got rocky so I got a little scared," said Kurio.

It was the same for another neighbor Mark Lupercio, who wanted to help.

"There was nothing you could see to do to help, the flames were so intense," said Lupercio.

When firefighters arrived the second floor of the house where the fire started was engulfed. The houses on each side were also damaged by the heat and flames, in fact several homes were evacuated. The intensity of the two alarm fire so intense it pushed firefighters back into defense mode.

It was then Battalion Chief Palmer Buck says his crews had a tough choice to make.

"After they talked to the other three roommates, they said somebody was still trapped inside at that point the second story was already coming down it was a non-survivable event and so a very difficult decision but a decision was made not to try to go back inside because there was nothing to back inside to save at that point," Buck said.

After the fire was under control investigators were allowed inside to make a tragic discovery.

"Crews have located a deceased person inside the rubble of the home behind us," Buck said.

For this tight knit community who used hoses and fire extinguishers to help keep the flames from nearby homes the loss of one of their neighbors is devastating.

"That's extremely sad. It's the worst part," Lupercio said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined at this time. Also officials have not released the identity of the victim.

The cost of the damage from the fire to all three homes is estimated at $260,000.

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