Conroe, June 9 – A resident on Long Valley Court in the Summerset Estates community called Montgomery County 911 just before 2:30 a.m. this morning, reporting that the house across the street was on fire and that as many as 8 family members were possibly trapped in the home.
The first unit on scene was a crew of 3 Firefighters and their Battalion Chief from the nearby Caney Creek Fire Station, approximately one mile away. The firefighters found heavy fire conditions in the kitchen and living room of the single story brick home, blocking the hallway, trapping the remaining occupants. A crew of two firefighters immediately entered the home and began a search for the victims using their thermal imaging equipment. Firefighters quickly found a 6 year male and 18 month old female, both in respiratory arrest.
Both children were brought out to the first of five arriving ambulances from the Montgomery County Hospital District. MCHD EMS transported the toddler to Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands where she succumbed to her injuries. The 6 year old child was pronounced deceased on scene. The children’s 30 year old Mother was found by Fire and EMS crews crawling out the doorway of the home with severe smoke inhalation injuries, and her 28 year old husband was injured trying to reach his children’s bedroom. He suffered cuts and smoke inhalation as well as 2ndand 3rddegree burns.
As fire crews continued their search of the burning home for the remaining two children, a neighbor reported that she had them safe in her home. Just before the arrival of the first fire crew, another neighbor reportedly entered the home through the front door to help search for the children, dropping down below the smoke and found the two boys, ages 5 and 7 crawling on the floor in the hallway. The boys were taken across the street before the arrival of emergency responders and cared for until the arrival of EMS.
MCHD EMS transported the children and their Mother and Father to Memorial Hermann Hospital The Woodlands. Due to the Mother’s severe smoke inhalation, she was transferred downtown to the Houston Medical Center via Lifeflight Helicopter. Her surviving sons were stabilized and at last reports Memorial Hermann was preparing to transfer them downtown as well for overnight observation and to reunite them with the rest of the family.
As additional fire crews arrived, they were joined by Officers from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Pct. 4 Constable’s Office and the Patton Village Police Department as well as Investigators from the Fire Marshal’s Office and several Emergency Chaplains. As additional family members began to arrive, they were supported by Law Enforcement and the Chaplains as they learned the grim news.
MCFMO Fire Investigators entered the home after the fire was brought under control and an initial examination reveals that the fire started in the kitchen area of the home, spreading to the living room and attic, filling the home with smoke and toxic fire gases. The home was equipped with smoke alarms but they are older detectors powered only by the home’s electrical system and apparently did not function.
The investigation into this tragedy continues at this time and initial autopsy results confirm that the 18 month old and 6 yr old died as a result of smoke inhalation. Investigators are working with the Medical Examiner to positively identify all three of the deceased and we are not releasing names at this time.
Fire and EMS Officials are working to address the mental health concerns of the emergency responders that responded to this tragic event. These men and women came together and performed their jobs with incredible skill and dedication but were not able to save everyone, and they are devastated as well by the losses suffered by this family.