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No injuries reported in Odessa house fire and explosion - Odessa American: Fire And Rescue

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No injuries reported in Odessa house fire and explosion

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Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2016 6:00 pm

Flames raced through a detached guest room and a shed and damaged a home on the same property Thursday where witnesses reported hearing a shattering explosion and saw fire rise skyward.

A team of firefighters battled the blaze where neighbors in the 400 block of East 56th Street left for safety. Odessa police shut down several streets around the vicinity of the house as a precaution to allow firefighters to do their job.

No injuries were reported during the inferno, City of Odessa spokeswoman Andrea Goodson said, but authorities did not immediately know how the fire started. Two occupants at 406 E. 56th St. got out safely but the guest room, or apartment as Goodson called it, a shed and two vehicles were destroyed.

No other nearby homes were affected by the flames. A fire investigator had yet to go into the property to assess the damage and determine a cause, Goodson said.

Veronica Villanueva, a neighbor who lives near the home, described hearing a loud noise that sounded like a couple of vehicles colliding into each other.

Villanueva praised her fellow neighbors who all ran toward the home to help evacuate the occupants.

“We heard it. It was loud,” Villanueva said with her husband Thomas sitting beside her. “It was a loud explosion.”

Dispatchers received a number of 9-1-1 calls at about 5:51 p.m. and sent firefighters to the location. More than 16 firefighters labored to douse the flames that charred the structures on the property. An Odessa police officer at the scene said an officer on patrol saw the commotion and called it in, which accounted for the quick response by first responders.

More than four fire engines were dispatched to put out the fire that was officially knocked down by 6:30 p.m., Goodson said. Goodson said she didn't know a damage estimate but firefighters worked hard in putting out the flames in 100-degree heat and with their full gear on.

Red Cross was notified by the occupants of the home said they would be staying with relatives. Firefighters remained at the scene to snuff out lingering hot spots found where the shed once stood, Goodson said.

“I never saw so much smoke in my life,” Villanueva said, adding that an emergency of this magnitude never happened in the neighborhood she’s lived in for the past nine years. “You could see the flames coming from the trees and everything.”

Another neighbor, Dillon Chandler, also said he hasn't seen a fire in the quiet neighborhood he’s lived in for the longest time.

“I lived here for close to 20 years and I never seen or heard of a fire here,” Chandler said.

Odessa, TX

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