Six people killed in house fires in 48 hours
A 59-year-old woman who had just moved into a Kingwood house to take care of the elderly man who owns the residence was killed when a fire destroyed the structure early Tuesday, the Houston Fire Department said.
The victim's name has not been released since authorities were still trying to locate her family Tuesday afternoon. She is the sixth woman to be killed in a house fire in the greater Houston area in 48 hours.
An unrelated fire that killed three women in the same family as they slept in a house in the Williamsburg Colony subdivision of Katy was caused by a malfunctioning electrical appliance, the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office said Tuesday.
That fire, which erupted around sunrise Sunday, has been ruled accidental, said Harris County Fire Marshal Lt. Investigator Gustavo Lopez. Because of the continuing investigation, the fire marshal's office declined to specify what type of electrical appliance malfunctioned or where in the home it was located.
The latest fire in Kingwood on Tuesday happened at 703 St. Andrews Road near Players Path at 3:37 a.m. and took more than an hour to extinguish, HFD officials said. The caregiver staying at that home was alone at the residence because the homeowner was staying at another location. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.
The victim was found dead in a bedroom. She had just moved into the home several days ago to work as a caregiver for the elderly homeowner, who was in the process of moving back into the residence, HFD said.
The fire destroyed the $140,000 home, which will have to be leveled.
In an unrelated fire that destroyed a $2 million house in the Heights early Monday, a disabled woman and her caregiver are believed to have been killed. Only one of the victims' bodies has been recovered and has not yet been identified. The search is continuing for the second victim.
The homeowner, Evelyn "Patti" Worthington, 68, who used a wheelchair and required 24-hour care since she suffered from an advanced form of multiple sclerosis, has been missing since the fire, along with a woman in her 50s who was believed to be spending the night at the home as a caregiver. The cause of that fire also has not been determined.
The names of the three women killed in the Katy house fire early Sunday have not been released since the autopsies are continuing. That fire erupted just after 7 a.m. in the 22800 block of Braken Carter Lane as all three women were apparently asleep since they were all found clad in their nightclothes, investigators said. Two of the victims collapsed just inside the front door of the home, while a third was found on a floor in a guest bedroom.
Fire officials said one of the women was in her 20s, while the other two were in their 60s. Two of the victims were staying at the house while they were visiting from Mexico, said the West I-10 Volunteer Fire Department.
The home was equipped with working smoke detectors, fire officials said. Nevertheless, the intense blaze swept quickly through the attic of the residence.
Special Pals, an animal rescue group, took custody of 12 rabbits found on the back porch of the home. None of the animals were hurt by the fire.
The victims' relatives, who also live in Katy, have declined to comment.
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