Dozens of firefighters from multiple departments converged on a massive fire in north Harris County on Thursday evening.
Westfield Fire Department responded at about 6:30 p.m. to the home and business behind a high fence on Bentley Street just west of the Eastex Freeway. Huge black clouds billowed into the air. The initial call was for an outside fire, but it quickly spread to the mobile home that was on the property.
Resident Allan Rodriguez said he was working on headlights with a charger nearby when something blew up.
“I don’t know what to do. My mind is blank right now,” Rodriguez said with a stunned look.
He got his young son out, but his family’s two dogs remained. One emerged just fine, but Petey was not.
“The dog still had a heartbeat but was not breathing,” Arthur Ashley, fire captain from Lexington, Kentucky, said.
Ashley was in town teaching a class to some of the firefighters who responded. He did not have his gear, so he helped by comforting the dog as it was given oxygen.
“The dog was hot, so I poured water on him and rubbed him. Stimulated him. That’s the best thing you can do,” Ashley said.
Meantime, firefighters worked under difficult conditions. The property was crowded with auto parts and outbuildings, and there were only narrow walkways. Small explosions could be heard.
In an area that has no fire hydrants, Westfield District Chief Fernando Garcia said they ran out of water for a short time but were able to get it flowing again from a tanker truck.
The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause. Firefighters from Aldine, Eastex, Harris County ESD, Splendora and Porter assisted.
Rodriguez, who said he worked on headlights for a living, could only watch as everything burned.
The one bright spot was Petey. Once limp and not breathing, he was nursed back to life.
“Petey is going to be OK,” Ashley said.