STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
HORSESHOE BAY — An art project mishap might be to blame for a blaze May 30 that destroyed a home on Apple Rock Golf Course, according to Horseshoe Bay fire investigators.
The incident was reported at about 1:30 p.m. in the 100 block of Black Stallion, just off hole No. 5, in a 3,600-square-foot residence.
“The homeowner was using an acetylene torch doing crafts,” Horseshoe Bay Fire Chief Joe Morris said. “The torch malfunctioned, injuring the resident and resulting in the house fire.”
The incident prompted a word of caution from fire officials after a series of events delayed help.
“She tried to extinguish the fire. It grew so rapidly she could not re-enter the room, Morris said. “Her purse and cellphone were in the room. She couldn’t get to her phone. Her neighbors weren’t home.”
After finding a spare vehicle key, the woman drove to the Horseshoe Bay Fire Rescue station, #1 Community Drive, and honked her car horn.
However, she could not find help because the fire crew was away for training.
“A good samaritan on a (mowing) tractor stopped after hearing her honk the horn and called 9-1-1 for her,” he said. “Twenty minutes growth of fire is incredible. The house was destroyed.”
The homeowner was treated on the scene for minor burns.
“You never know that if someone is encountering the difficulties that she did,” Morris said. “If you see smoke, call 9-1-1. You may have valuable information to share with our communication center.”
Agencies who responded to the scene, along with Horseshoe Bay Fire Rescue, included Marble Falls Fire Rescue and Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department.
Crews cleared the scene at 9:30 p.m. that night.