Family Escapes House Fire in Alamo

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ALAMO - Fire investigators said a damaged extension cord is to blame for a fire in Alamo.

Crews responded to a fire on the 200 block of Shawnee Trail around 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The family said they’re trying to salvage what's left.

Alamo resident Jesus Martinez Jr. said the summer heat was nothing compared to the flames that engulfed his room Wednesday morning.

“I was just sleeping in my room and I just feel something on my head,” he said.

Around 7 a.m., Martinez said he realized what was going on and immediately ran into his parent’s room to warn them.

His father, Jesus Martinez Sr., said he immediately sprang into action and tried to tame the flames by throwing water on the fire.

According to Hidalgo County Fire Marshal Investigator John Franz, the fire was due to a damaged extension cord that got too hot. He said the extension cord appeared to have been repaired several times.

Weslaco Fire Chief Antonio Lopez shared tips on what others can do at home to avoid a potential fire from sparking.

Lopez said extension cords are not meant to operate for long periods of times; doing so will cause them to heat up quicker.

He said his department sees a lot of similar calls to the Martinez’s case, especially during hot summer months where these A/C units are life lines for people.

“If you're going to leave your home for a long period of time just make sure that air conditioner is off the window unit,” he said.

Martinez Sr. told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the room is the only part of the home that was damaged.

No injuries were reported.

Lopez also shared the following safety tips:

- If you're using an A/C unit, make sure to never tuck your extension cords underneath carpets or rugs

- Whatever outlet you choose to plug your air conditioner into, make sure it is not a damaged wall socket

- Maintain air conditioner units and make sure you change the filters regularly


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