Bloomington fire destroys mobile home (w/video)

HOW TO HELP

To donate to the Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross, call 361-573-2671. The Victoria office is at 1501 E. Red River St., Suite A1.

The second time firefighters arrived at a mobile home on a dusty road in Bloomington, they saw flames.

The homeowner, Diego Ramirez, 22, initially called 911 a little before 11 a.m. Wednesday.

"I was watching TV in the living room. ... I heard a popping noise," he said.

The noise was coming from a kitchen cabinet at his mobile home in the 200 block of Rio Grande Street. A wire ran from the cabinet to a light fixture and caught fire.

Ramirez woke his sleeping wife and 4-year-old son, and they all ran outside.

Then, he pushed a water hose through a window, drenching the area before firefighters arrived.

Officials told Ramirez there was a short in the wire, so he called an electrician. As a precaution, his family moved their two TVs, clothes and and their black leather couches out onto the lawn.

But before the electrician stopped by at 1:47 p.m., his family smelled smoke again. This time, they couldn't put it out.

No one was hurt in either fire.

The mobile home is crumbling and charred throughout.

Victoria County Fire Marshal Ron Pray did not know Wednesday whether the two fires were related. It is possible that while the family was cleaning up damage from the first fire, an ember spread from the particle board cabinet to a wall. It's also possible there was another electrical short, he said.

"With this wind that we're having today, there's just no telling," Pray said, noting the grass is also dry from recent freezing weather.

Before leaving the first time, firefighters checked the property with heat guns and wetted the area. An investigation is ongoing, he said.

Firefighters from Bloomington, Victoria, Placedo and DaCosta responded the second time, getting it under control within 15 minutes.

Ramirez and his family have lived in the mobile home for four years. His mother and sister are his next-door neighbors. Although Pray said he would contact the Red Cross to assist them, Ramirez said they are not seeking donations.

"I don't know what to say," Ramirez said, surveying the rubble. "I think we'll be all right."