housefire JL

Fire crews work to extinguish a fire at an unoccupied house in the 2000 block of Parrish Street that spread to a neighboring house in Bellmead on Tuesday afternoon. No injures were reported.

Staff photo— Jerry Larson

A house fire in Bellmead gutted one house and damaged another as high winds fueled its spread Tuesday afternoon, Bellmead police Sgt. Kory Martin said.

Police and fire crews were called to the 2000 block of Parrish Street shortly after 2 p.m. for a report of flames coming from the sides and roof of an unoccupied single-story house. Heavy smoke poured from the structure, and strong winds pushed flames over to a neighboring house, damaging the siding, roof and other portions of the home.

“The first house was fully-engulfed when we first got out here, and because of the winds, the heat and flames were pushed into the house to the right of it,” Martin said. “It set the side wall of (the neighboring house) on fire a couple of times, but firefighters keep watching it to put those flames out.”

Smoke filled the neighborhood as police blocked off Parrish Street to traffic. The Lacy Lakeview Fire Department and Waco Fire Department helped the Bellmead Fire Department with the blaze.

At 3 p.m., the fire appeared to have gutted the entire house where authorities believe the fire started. Crews worked for more than an hour to extinguish hot spots and flare ups in the neighboring house.

No one was inside either home at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported, Martin said.

A tenant in the neighboring home said her husband typically works nights and sleeps during the day but was out when the fire started, she said. She said there have been vehicles at the home where police believe the fire started but she does not know who lived there.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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