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Yorktown house fire a total loss

On top of a winter storm that blew through, the City of Yorktown’s Volunteer Fire Department (YVFD) received a call on Tuesday, Feb. 16 around 3:30 p.m. of a house fire.

YVFD was dispatched to a structure fire in Yorktown that involved the entire home. At the time of the fire, the house was without power and no one was home.

“When we responded to the scene, the house was a total loss,” said Yorktown’s Fire Chief Chris Ochoa. “We responded first and tried to contain the fire with water, but our department determined right away that we needed help, so we asked the dispatcher to send mutual aid.”

Cuero VFD, Westhoff VFD, Weesatche VFD, Goliad VFD, Nordheim VFD and Ander Weser VFD were all dispatched to assist.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, according to Ochoa.

“It was frustrating not having water in the hydrants,” said Ochoa. “It’s a situation that we normally have to deal with, though, for a fire in a county that we don’t have hydrants. It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for us when working on a county fire.”

The volunteer fire departments attempted to use the Coleto Creek water to help relieve the fire. Each department has flotation pumps, which are used to draft water from tanks, creeks or any body of water. Unfortunately, they had no luck with the pumps.

“We attempted several times, but we were not successful due to the temperature of the water,” said Ochoa. “The water was too cold, and the pumps were dying right away.”

The structure was determined that it couldn’t be saved, so the goal was to keep the fire from spreading to surrounding structures. Ochoa shared how that is a hard decision to make, especially since it involves trying to save someone’s property and all their belongings.

“Sometimes you have to determine that it’s not safe to enter to do an interior attack,” said Ochoa. “It’s not safe on our people and it becomes a safety issue.”

Ochoa made a recommendation for the community to follow to avoid potential house fires in the future.

“Make sure to keep an eye on wood-burning stoves, fireplaces or any kind of flame inside the house,” said Ochoa.

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