ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Fire crews in Ector County have their hands full. There have been four house fires in the past week.
On Sunday afternoon, neighbors gathered outside one house fire on the 900 block of Honeysuckle Street. Cellphone footage shows black smoke pouring into the street as firefighters work to knock down flames.
Odessa Fire Rescue says three structures were burned. That includes the primary house, a back shed, and a neighboring house, which is vacant. The main home was declared a total loss. Neighbors tell us, one man owns the house. He wasn’t living there for the moment, but everything he owned was inside.
“He had some power washers in there, and a lawnmower, and that’s what exploded, I think,” said Johnny, a neighbor.
Odessa Fire Rescue says a firefighter was also hurt in the backyard. The firefighter lost their footing and twisted a knee, but is doing okay now.
This is the fourth fire in one week. Two happened Sunday, including one on Paloma Trail off South Loop 338.
Odessa Fire says that fire burned a vacant home, which was just taken off the housing market.
“Sometimes in the Winter time, with people putting out their space heaters, that usually causes a lot of fires. But this time of year, they’re happening. We can’t really tell you why, but there’s a lot of house fires here recently,” said Division Captain Cody Ritchie of Odessa Fire Rescue.
Eddie Mitchell lives near the scene of Sunday’s fire on Honeysuckle Street.
“This is the Southside. These homes have been around here 50-60 years plus. A lot of wood frames. Not
a lot of people have brick homes. I’m telling you, it’s just a strike of a match for them to go,” said Mitchell.
And after Sunday’s fire, there’s some angst.
“It was my concern driving from Walmart over here. I heard the fire department and the ambulance and I was like, ‘I really hope it’s not my house. But it gets you in your mind, you know,” Johnny said.