Elroy house fire leaves man in critical condition - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Elroy house fire leaves man in critical condition

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The flames that swept through a home on Chalet Dr. were knocked down early Monday morning. But around noon a strong wind swept across a Del Valle neighborhood near the intersection of Elroy Rd and Jacobson Rd. With each gust, smoke slowly started to pour out of the house and as the wind got stronger more smoke was produced from hot spots deep inside.

Fire crews returned and after locating the small but growing flames doused them down with another blast of water.

"I doesn't take long even the smallest ember can catch something back on fire," said Chief Ken Bailey with the Travis Co Fire and Rescue ESD 11.

This house fire seriously burned the man who was living there. Witnesses say he initially escaped unharmed.

"I talked to my neighbor, across the street named Javier, he told me the guy came to his house knocked on the door banged really hard, went what's going on he said my house is on fire, then they guy runs back to the house," said Thomas Armonta, a next door neighbor.

The man was later found unconscious by a rescue team. He was taken to a burn unit in San Antonio.

Neighbors like Jessie Herrera and Olivia Cardona are concerned about his well-being but they are also worried about what the fire could have done to the rest of them.

"It was really scary because I thought about Bastrop, because we just we live just down the street and with the high winds this could have easily traveled to our house and that would have been very scary," said Cardona.

This neighborhood is just southeast of Elroy and although it's less than a mile from the Circuit of the Americas there are no hydrants. Fire crews have to bring their own water to these kinds of rural fights.

This is the time of the year when snapped power lines can quickly spark fast moving and large fires.

"On a day like today, what we hope is that the public is aware and we get early notification but our response plan also changes in the fact that we will send more resources sooner than we would on a normal day with 10mph winds," said Chief Bailey.

About an hour later units were back at work battling a grass fire along Burleson Rd.

Although it was a small fire the last few hours have convince Cardona and Herrera it's time to ask county commissioners to expand water lines a little closer to their neighborhood.

"They put hydrants over there by Formula 1, so at least it's a lot closer now, now they should add them to the neighborhood," said Jessie Herrera.

"Because," added Olivia, "that would make us feel a little bit safer."

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