At least two families are displaced from their homes after a structure fire in a vacant home near downtown Beaumont spread to adjacent homes.
According to a press release, Beaumont firefighters (BFD) responded to the blaze at about 10:38 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, to find the home at 1170 Center St. burning uncontrollably.
As firefighters arrived on the scene, a nearby vehicle was completely inundated along with the home, fueling the fire enough to damage at least one home across the street.
BFD spokesman Brad Pennison said there is evidence the fire was set intentionally.
“You put nine people out of their homes, destroyed two others homes. ...” he said. “It has a ripple effect that one person can do something like this and affect so many others.”
Jeanette Flores, whose next-door home was severely damaged by fire, said she and her family of five had time to make it out of the home, but didn’t see the culprit.
“I was laying down,” she said. “I was about to go to sleep.”
Although the front of the home was largely spared, “all the back room is all destroyed,” Flores said.
BFD was able to control the fire, but Pennison said firefighters were at the scene well into the night.
“They had the fire under control probably within about 30 minutes,” he said “but they were on the scene for like four hours making sure there were no hotspots in these other houses.”
Pennison said Beaumont’s latest cold front helped firefighters smother the large blaze without endangering BFD’s finest.
“That’s one thing, when the weather is cool like this, at least that’s an advantage to our firefighters,” he said. “They don’t become overheated as quick.”
No injuries were reported.