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Fire consumes Young Life residence

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07


Barrett House — THE BATTALION

The Bryan fire department responds to a house fire on Sulphur Springs Road late Sunday afternoon.

With no shoes, bloodied fingers and black smudge on his face, Keane Richardson, junior business major, looks at his home of the past year, trying to figure out how he feels after escaping a fire that engulfed his house.

At approximately 4:30 Sunday afternoon, a Young Life house located on Sulphur Springs Road in Bryan caught fire. The cause has yet to be determined. Richardson said he was in his room upstairs when he smelled smoke in the house and found the downstairs bike room was full of smoke. After discovering the fire, Richardson opened the front door to let out his roommate’s dog, Odie, before trying to control the flames.

“I went and found the fire extinguisher and tried to put it out, but it didn’t do anything,” Richardson said. “I called 9-1-1 because I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it out.”

According to the Bryan Fire Department Fire Inspector Fred Taylor, when fire fighters arrived there was a lot of fire in the back of the house. Taylor said attempts to enter the house were difficult because of the fire, heat and because it was a two-story structure.

Taylor said when he left the scene around 8 p.m. crews were still at the house putting out hot spots and would probably continue doing so throughout the night.  

“They were still out there getting hot spots. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to go back out to put out hot spots,” Taylor said. “At this point there’s nothing left in the house that’s salvageable.”

Richardson said his faith is going to help through this tragedy and will help him appreciate the things that he has in life.

“The fact that I’m blessed enough to have a house and to have friends and to have all this stuff. If it’s taken away I’m still blessed,” Richardson said. “In the end I know its going to make me value what I’ve been given, even if its nothing, so much more.”

Richardson said several community members provided immediate support during the ordeal. One man offered a place to sleep, another a tent and one was able to move his truck away from the fire.

“I look around, and I [have] people trying to help me out,” Richardson said. “I don’t even know these people. You start to see the true character of people come out.”

Xavier Lozano, a student at Blinn College, said he came to the house because it was the right thing to do.

“[My friend and I] were talking about what it means to be a Christian and having a powerful leader in your life,” Lozano said. “I came here and seeing this I just felt like I needed to come up here and ask [Richardson] if he needed any assistance, a place to stay. It’s that spirit of community that we have at A&M, that selfless service.”

Taking another glance at the scorched house, Richardson said although he lost his physical possessions, he still had
his memories.

“All that stuff’s going to go away eventually. All the memories that are in that house, all the stuff that I have, personally I believe all of it’s God’s and none of it’s mine,” Richardson said. “Those memories and those things I hold on to, those are in my heart.”


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