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New Year's nightmare

New Year's nightmare: Two houses destroyed in separate fireworks mishaps

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Roman candles burn down Conroe home January 2014
A 10-year-old girl accidentally burned down her Conroe home when she was playing with Roman candles on New Year's Eve. Photo courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11
Roman candles burn down Conroe home January 2014
Although the Berrios home was almost completely destroyed, the family managed to escape safely with their five Chihuahuas in tow. Photo courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11
Roman candles burn down Conroe home January 2014
Roman candles burn down Conroe home January 2014

Two homes in the Houston area have been destroyed due to New Year's-related fireworks mishaps.

In Conroe, a 10-year-old girl accidentally burned down her house while playing with fireworks on New Year's Eve, according to news reports. The incident, which happened on Sage Brush Court in the town north of Houston, occurred in the early afternoon when she was using Roman candles on the front porch of the home as her 12-year-old brother and 13-year-old sister played nearby.

 Although the flames tore through the home's three bedrooms in only a few minutes, the family of five escaped safely along with their five Chihuahuas. 

According to Montgomery County fire investigators, the fireworks ignited others located on the family's porch and then spread to a pile of items they were keeping outside for an upcoming yard sale, further fueling the fire. The girl's father was doing mechanic work in the backyard when the fire began. A neighbor soon alerted him to what was happening at the front of the home.

"Within talking to him, it was a small fire. By the time we got the family out and I called 911, the whole porch was engulfed and the house was covered in black smoke," neighbor Damien Alexander told KHOU Channel 11 news.

Although the flames tore through the home's three bedrooms in only a few minutes, the family of five escaped safely along with their five Chihuahuas. Unfortunately, nearly everything in the home was destroyed, including the Christmas presents that were opened only a week earlier. Even their two minivans parked outside the house were ruined in the blaze.

Neighbors have begun generously donating essentials to the family. They are now staying with family members and are trying to figure out what to do next.

In Cypress, a home in the 11000 block of Cypress Glad Drive was destroyed by fireworks early on New Year's Day. The house was consumed with heavy flames when firefighters from the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department arrived. They had to wait for the three tanker trucks to put out the blaze as there were no fire hydrants on the street.

Nine people, including four children, made it out unscathed. But a family dog was presumed killed in the fire that investigators believe was caused by fireworks. “Reports from the family are that the fire started in the same location of where they were doing the fireworks,” Captain Brian Shirley of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department told KHOU Channel 11 news.

A neighbor who lives next door took cell phone video of the blaze. 

The house was declared a total loss and the family has no insurance.The Red Cross of Houston was called in to assist those displaced by the fire.

See video of the Cypress fire:
 

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