Posted: Dec 20, 2012 6:37 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2012 7:04 AM
EDINBURG - A woman says a warning from the Edinburg fire chief saved her family.
The woman tried to rush back into her burning home to save her pets, but she remembered the words, "Once you are out, stay out."
Edinburg Fire Chief Shawn Snider said those words during a CHANNEL 5 NEWS report.
The homeowner said those words kept her from going back into her burning home.
"I opened the door, and there was fire coming from the opposite side of the living room," the woman said.
The blaze happened at approximately 5:30 a.m. Thursday. The homeowner, a 52-year-old high school teacher, said she left her house to buy treats for her students. When she returned, she found her house on fire.
The fire happened near Business Highway 281 and Canton Road.
"As we were deciding whether to go in and get some things, some valuables, whatever we had, I remembered what the fire chief had said on the news. I said, ‘No ... we must stay outside,'" she said.
The Edinburg teacher, her 22-year-old daughter and her daughter's friend escaped the inferno. The family's cat, bird and two dogs also were inside the house.
"Within seconds, there was black, thick smoke billowing throughout. Within seconds, it was impossible to walk inside the house," the woman said.
The two dogs made it out alive. The bird and cat did not survive.