Crews battle blaze at halfway house in Tyler - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Crews battle blaze at halfway house in Tyler


Update: The cause of the fire, according to Tyler Fire Investigators, was improper electrical wiring in the home.



Windy conditions added an extra challenge for fire crews extinguishing a fire at a Halfway house on Tyler's northside.

The initial call was received at 12:03 p.m. and the caller reported flames were visible from the two story house in the 1200 block of Broadway.  The first units arriving on the scene reported a working house fire and called for a second alarm.  Six engines and two Ladder Companies, along with a District Chief and an Investigator, responded to the scene.

Flames, as well as thick black smoke were seen shooting up from the roof of the Halfway house on Broadway and Queen Street.

"There was smoke coming up from the house and we were looking for a water hose and then we opened the door and you could see the flames working their way down the stairs. Me and  my friend ran around to the front to see if someone was there and no one answered the door and we were about to kick open the door to see if someone was up there," said Cody Lozano, first person on scene.

Lozano says fire crews arrived  shortly after and immediately went inside.

"That was one of the first things they did was search the first and second floor and they weren't able to find anyone," said Paul Findley, Tyler Fire Marshal. 

The fire appears to have started on the back porch, but there was heavy fire damage to the entire house, including the attic. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Halfway house is sponsored by Northside Christian Church. The pastor of the Church tells KLTV that four people lived in the house, although no one was home at the time of the fire.

One resident, who lives at the Halfway house, says firefighters were even able to save some of his belongings from inside the home.

"In one way it makes me feel glad, but in another way it makes me feel sad because the house is burning down, but I'm glad they saved his picture because that's the only link I have to him is that picture," said the Halfway house resident.

The pastor has made other living arrangements for the four residents. The house was insured and has been at this location for five years.

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