Investigators continue probe of Dallas house fires
An investigation continues into a fire on Friday, Aug. 3, that destroyed two houses in the 6200-block of Hillview Drive in Dallas.
Homeowner Kevin Schuurman said he was at work when he received a call at about 3 p.m. from his wife, telling him to come home because the house was on fire.
His daughter was home at the time, sitting in a vehicle on the driveway.
“My daughter and her boyfriend were sitting in her car listening to tunes and they smelled the whiff of smoke, but then it went away,” Schuurman said.
He said the pair realized the house was on fire and went inside, allowing the family dog to escape.
They noticed a hot tub ablaze and tried to fight the flames with a water hose.
Schuurman said his daughter’s boyfriend then noticed flames coming from the garage.
Neighbour Candice Baytaluke said she was on her deck when she smelled something burning.
She said it smelled like plastic burning and worried something in her house was melting.
She went out to her front gate to see her neighbour’s house on fire.
Baytaluke said she heard her neighbour’s daughter screaming and trying to call her parents as the house went up in flames and went over to console to her.
“While I was talking to her, I could see flames coming from out her front door and she kept saying to me the cat was in there and I said, ‘Sweetie, you’ve got to stay here. You cannot go back in the house. The fire department’s coming’,” she said, noting the neighbourhood rallied to help, including a bystander who moved a trailer that had begun to melt.
Another neighbour, Jake Surline, said people from around the neighbourhood tried to put out the fire, but the smoke was too intense.
“Some guys were here, they tried hosing it but you couldn’t get near it — the flames, the smoke was unreal,” he said, adding strong winds carried the blaze to another house in short order.
Surline said the neighbourhood did what it could to help until fire crews arrived, including setting up sprinklers in an attempt to keep the flames from spreading farther.