POSTED: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 11:36am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 4:44pm
EL PASO – A family pet was killed in a huge house fire in the Lower Valley that has left a family of 5 homeless.
Flames tore through the home in the 300 block of Jensen, near Riverside High School, around 6:00 a.m. Thursday.
Firefighters said an elderly woman, her 19-year-old grandson, and 9-year-old granddaughter, who were asleep when the fire started, escaped unhurt. There was no working smoke detector in the house.
“We want to remind the public to check your smoke alarms so you get that early warning, especially in the night when you're asleep," said John Concha, with the El Paso Fire Department.
A Chihuahua puppy was killed in the blaze, while 3 other dogs survived.
It took more than 40 firefighters 15 minutes to knock down the flames and get the fire under control. Next door neighbors had to be evacuated because there was a risk the fire would spread to their homes.
Fire investigators said an overloaded circuit is what started the fire.
Damage is estimated at $75,000. The El Paso Red Cross is helping the family with a place to stay.