LAKE DALLAS — Six teenage brothers and sisters in a Lake Dallas family safely escaped their house on Monday morning after it caught fire. No one was injured, but the family said they lost everything and a pet dog in the blaze.
The mother of the children, who range in age from 12 to 19, left home early that morning before the fire began. Some of the family members were sleeping when they awoke to the panicked cries of sounds of their siblings yelling, “Fire!”
“I was sleeping when it all started,” Kristen Hilliard said. “I don’t even remember getting out of the bed or running outside because it happened so fast.”
Her mother, Staci Hilliard, said she was with her fiance taking care of errands when she received a call from one of her daughters at 8:23 a.m., informing her that the house was on fire.
“I rushed home and I was in a panic,” she said.
The Lake Cities Fire Department and Lake Dallas police, with assistance from other area agencies, responded to the two-alarm fire. Lewisville, Flower Mound, Little Elm, Denton, Highland Village and Coppell fire departments assisted.
Officials said it took 30 minutes to extinguish the fire, and its cause is yet to be determined. An investigation is continuing.
Lake Cities Fire Department Deputy Chief Chad Thiessen said the fire was probably accidental and began in one of the home’s rear bedrooms.
“I don’t know what happened. No one does,” Staci Hilliard said. “We lost everything. But all the kids got out OK, and I’m happy for that. We lost one pet that couldn’t get out.”
The smell of smoke filled the air Monday as the family members rummaged through the rubble and ash to salvage anything that wasn’t damaged by the fire, smoke or water. Most of the structural damage appeared to have happened toward the rear of the home.
The American Red Cross provided disaster relief for the family, giving them money for shelter, food and clothing. Hilliard said she and her family have a place to stay for a while until they recover.
“It could’ve been a lot worse,” she said.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .