AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Within minutes four fire engines, a rescue truck and 30 firefighters responded to a home on the 8300 block of Loralinda Drive Friday night. Austin Fire Department Division Chief Palmer Buck said the house was already fully engulfed in flames and there were reports that someone might be inside.
"Crews made several different attempts to search the home to get inside the house while the house was falling down around them," Buck said.
After ten minutes, crews were pulled back as the home's structure began to collapse. The Austin Police Department assisted by evacuating nearby homes and after 25 minutes the fire was under control.
When crews went back inside they found a body, turning the fire investigation into a joint investigation between AFD and APD’s homicide unit.
"Certainly a tragedy this evening unfortunately this is our fifth fatality so far in 2019 we haven't lost this many people in several years," said Buck.
The damage left behind from the fire could be seen the next day. The home's windows were boarded up and scorch marks lined the roof outside. The home is uninhabitable and the damage is estimated at $220,000.
Sylvia Ford lives directly across the street. She said the fire department initially thought her house was the one on fire.
"He said I needed to get out of my house,” Ford said. “I thank God I wasn’t in that situation.”
Ford said she was devastated to learn the homeowner had passed. The two lived across from one another for more than 30 years.
"She was nice person,” said Ford. "Something like this can happen any day you never know when your time has come to an end."
Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.