Purchase photos

Fire destroys home, injures three





Firefighters were called back this morning to the scene of a destructive house fire that sent three people to Hays Medical Center for injuries.

The fire, reported early Monday morning, destroyed a house in the 2400 block of Saline River Road, approximately 9 miles east of U.S. Highway 183.

The two-story home, said Ellis County Rural Fire Chief Dick Klaus, was destroyed.

Klaus said he wasn't sure of the nature of the injuries of the three people inside, but said all three were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

"They were lucky to get out of the house," he said. "It was burning that hard when they had to get out."

A barking dog apparently awoke one of the sleeping residents, who started shouting for the two others to get out of the house.

They made their escape through bedroom windows, onto the roof of a porch surrounding three sides of the house.

"They had to jump off the building and down to the ground," Klaus said.

While he didn't want to identify everyone in the house, he did say the home was owned by Gary Anderson, and being rented and occupied by his daughter, Shelly.

When the fire department was called, the house was fully engulfed, Klaus said, with the first firefighter on the scene reporting flames higher than trees surrounding the residence.

Fire crews remained on the scene of the fire until almost noon Monday and have been called back several times to extinguish hot spots.

"They're up there right now for a hot spot in the house," Klaus said this morning.

Because of the extent of the damage to both the house and all of the occupants' belongings, Klaus hasn't been able to put a dollar value on the loss.

An investigator from the State Fire Marshal's office was on the scene Monday and went through the rubble of the home.

Klaus said he determined the fire started in the kitchen.

"But we don't know the cause," he said.