AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Potter County Sheriff’s Office reported that a 78-year-old homeowner was found dead after a “manufactured home” caught on fire in northeast Amarillo on Friday morning.
Officials detailed that at around 4:40 a.m. on Friday morning, PCSO and the Potter County Fire-Rescue were called to the 4300 block of SH 136 on a reported structure fire.
Steven Denny, Public Information Officer for Potter County Fire-Rescue said initially the call came in as a grass fire, but upon arrival, they discovered it was not a grass fire but a residence, and it had self-ventilated.
He added that Potter County responded with seven trucks and 12 personnel. AMR was also on the scene, along with the Potter County Sheriff’s Office.
Upon arrival, crews reported that units found a manufactured home fully engulfed in flames.
Denny said they made an initial attack and when crews went in they found inhospitable conditions and had to exit the home, and had to take a different approach. Denny added when one of those crews went back in the floor and ceiling collapsed in part of the house, but no serious or immediate injuries were reported. After the crews were pulled out, they made some exterior attacks from another area, in addition to interior attacks.
Denny said they were able to get the fire under control and Denny said during their search after Potter County extinguished the fire, they found one victim, the 78-year-old homeowner was then found dead inside the home.
Denny added it is going to be difficult to determine a cause because of the extent of the damage in the area where it appears the fire began, he said that is where the collapse happened and he said the floor and roof are missing in that area and any evidence is going to be hard to find.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office will assist in the ongoing investigation and PCSO said that further information will be released “when determined by the investigating agencies.”
Denny said they are not identifying the person. He added they know who it is, but they are leaving it up to law enforcement.
He added as it gets colder, take caution when heating your home.
“Without speculating on what happened here, some of the common causes of house fires include when we have a change in temperature, people often try to supplement their heating with space heaters or floor heaters and sometimes those are placed too close to combustible materials. One of the biggest things we see, is people using improperly sized device with a power strip or extension cord. Our recommendation is you never plug a space heater into anything other than a wall outlet that is properly sized for that heater,” said Denny.