CHRISTOVAL, TX — A single house fire that broke out just past 9 p.m. next to the City Park in the middle of the town of Christoval resulted in an all-call response for the Christoval Volunteer Fire Department assisted by the Pecan Creek VFD.
Christoval is 25 miles south of San Angelo on U.S. 277. The town depends upon volunteers to provide fire protection.
According to Christoval VFD’s public affairs spokesman Jimmy Barton, when firefighters arrived, the house was already heavily involved in the fire, as flames were shooting out of and around the roof.
Initially, firefighters took an offensive approach and entered the home, but as pieces of the ceiling started to fall on the firefighters, they evacuated and began dousing the house from outside, a defensive approach.
One pumper truck with just 1,000 gallons was soon refilled with a tanker, and the water trucks kept coming. In all, two hours after the initial attack, Barton estimates 5,000 gallons have been sprayed on the fire and Christoval has no fire hydrants.
The family inside evacuated before the firefighters arrived, Barton said. “It was probably on fire before they realized it sitting inside,” he said.
By 11 p.m., smoke continued to billow out the roof and firefighters were applying judicious amounts of water, sometimes spraying it inside the attic after breaking off part of the eave for hose access. Barton said the house, an older structure, with years and years of upgrades, has layers of old wood inside, all underneath a very hot metal roof.
“We’ll probably be here all night,” he said.
No injuries happened and the family will receive help from the American Red Cross.
Correction: Originally we identified Jimmy Barton as the fire chief. He is the public affairs officer.