8,300 square foot Tyler home burns to ground in afternoon fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TYLER (KLTV)

8,300 square foot Tyler home burns to ground in afternoon fire

Firefighters are worked late into the afternoon on the remains of a massive fire that destroyed a million-dollar home in Tyler. The blaze started around 12:30 Tuesday afternoon in the Saddlebrook Edition on Contender's Way. As KLTV 7's Courtney Lane shows you, lightning may be the reason behind all of the destruction.  

Fierce flames raced through the 8,3000 square foot home as thick, dark smoke billowed into the sky. Multiple departments responded, but say it was too hot to get a handle on the blaze.

"The roof behind the garage started to collapse. We had two separate locations of collapse. We pulled interior attack, firefighters out and started going for exterior attack," said Connie Wassom, the Smith County assistant fire marshal.

The homeowners were gone, but their puppy was trapped inside. Robert Goode ran over to try and save the dog and a pet bird.

"There's a pet door in the back but it was locked. So we took a rock and smashed out a window to get in to call the dog find the bird. I'm a foot and half from you I couldn't even see in the house, the ladies couldn't either, it was just intense with smoke," described Goode.

Fire investigators say lightening may be to blame. They say it could have struck overnight, been smoldering, and finally combusted this afternoon.

"The homeowners did advise me that they heard lightning strike very close to the home, so close, that they did feel the windows rattle," said Wassom.

The homeowners were too shaken up to talk.

"When you have to drive up here and see your house just sit there and burn you have to watch everything go away. That's sad."

The homeowner's insurance agent says they will at least be covered, but many things were irreplaceable.

"We can take care of everything that they've lost here except their memories and their personal items and it's heartbreaking to see," said Linda Rowe with State Farm.

The family includes three children who were all in school at the time. A pet bird was taken out in time, but the puppy was not found. Firefighters are investigating the fire, and we will keep you updated.

Courtney Lane, reporting. clane@kltv.com

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