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AFD Watching South Austin Fire Site As Winds Pick Up

Updated: Wednesday, March 12 2014, 07:28 AM CDT
Winds have been picking up throughout the night, just what fire crews don’t want to hear.

This as they’re coming up fighting a late night blaze that destroyed an abandoned home in South Austin. It happened on Paisano Trail, near Brodie and William Cannon.

Even though no one was hurt, firefighters say it could have been much worse.

While the building that burned was abandoned, it’s also surrounded by a nature preserve, close to a church, and the wooded area surrounding it backs up to a subdivision.

Fire crews tell KEYE if it had been as windy late Tuesday night when the fire broke as it is early Wednesday morning, they’d probably be fighting the fire at the edge of the subdivision.

Officials also tell KEYE they’ll be on scene through the morning to make sure the fire doesn’t spark up again.

A passerby called in the fire late Tuesday night after smelling smoke.

Firefighters eventually put the fire out but say the home is mostly destroyed, along with some surrounding brush. With winds ramping up, here’s what they say you should do if you live near an area like this to keep your home safe.

"You need to keep the area around the back of your property clean, you need to keep the grass mowed, water it as much as you can within reason,” said James Ash, Battalion Chief with the Austin Fire Department. “(You) need to keep patio furniture and stuff away from your house.  Don't stock wood against your house, make sure  your gutters are clean, make sure the screens on the ventilation systems on your attics are in place."

Investigators are expected on scene in South Austin around 7 a.m. to begin looking into a possible cause.

The fire captain tells KEYE the house was covered in graffiti, so he thinks it may have been a hangout for local teens or others.AFD Watching South Austin Fire Site As Winds Pick Up


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