Mart Volunteer Fire Chief Jerry “Bud” Pavelka lost his home two days before Christmas, after fire overtook about half of his home Sunday morning, Mart Police Chief Paul Cardenas said.

Emergency responders were called to the 700 block of Calvery Eskew Road shortly before 7:45 a.m.

Cardenas said Pavelka and his wife, the only two people in the home, were able to escape uninjured.

When fire crews arrived, about 50 percent of the home was engulfed in flames, Cardenas said.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, reportedly started by a floor heater in the rear of the home, Cardenas said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. A family pet, a cat, died in the fire, authorities said.

Mart Mayor Len Williams, the McLennan County 100 Club and other first responders are organizing efforts to assist the Pavelka family.

Cardenas said McLennan County 100 Club Board President Link Harris is expected to establish an account at The First National Bank of Central Texas on Monday for donations to benefit the fire chief and his family.

The account will be managed by McLennan County Fire Protection members.

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