Big Country

Fire heavily damages two Sweetwater homes (updated)

SWEETWATER, Texas - Fire heavily damaged two Sweetwater homes early Sunday morning in the 1700 block of Sam Houston Street.

The blaze, which happened about 1:30 a.m., quickly spread from one house to a second home, according to the Sweetwater Fire Department's Facebook page.

"It took all three engines, the ladder (truck) and half of the total employees to battle the blaze and get it under control," the release said. "High winds were a contributing factor to the flames spreading from one house to another."

Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in about three hours, officials said.

In an email, Sweetwater Fire Chief Grant Madden said the blaze started when an overloaded electrical circuit overheated.

"The tires blowing out on the car in between the two houses woke the residents up and they alerted the residents in the other house that was already on fire," Madden said.

Madden said the Red Cross was notified for assistance as the residents "pretty much got out with (only) the clothes on their backs."

Also at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sweetwater firefighters battled a blaze in the 500 block of Bowie. That fire was "electrical in origins" and it was contained mostly to the "room of origin," Madden said.

"There was substantial heat and smoke damage to much of the house, but the structure seems to have survived due to the quick response of the guys."

The homeowner, Madden said, wasn't home at the time of the blaze.

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