HOWARD – A Howard family lost their home to what began as a cooking fire Monday, Jan. 6. Firefighters were dispatched to the 5800 block of Farm-to-Market Road 877 at about 11:30 a.m. and found the house engulfed in flames.

“The resident said that he had been inside cooking and had gone out back to another building when (the two residents) spotted the fire. The residents tried to put it out themselves with a fire extinguisher,” Ellis County Fire Marshal Joe Stewart said. “They thought they had it out at one point, however it had reached the attic and spread from there.”

Stewart said by the time firefighters arrived the fire had reached the attic, where it quickly spread through the entire structure.

Crews used tanker trucks to shuttle water from the nearest hydrant to the engines battling the blaze. Bardwell Fire Department was the first on scene and received assistance from Italy, Forreston, Avalon and Emergency Service District No. 6 Volunteer Fire Departments.

Members of the American Red Cross were called out the scene to provide assistance to the resident. Stewart said the fire was ruled as accidental as a cooking fire.