Fire in Northeast Austin displaces family, kills two dogs

A Northeast Austin family is working to recover from a fire that killed their two dogs and has left them without a home. 

The fire broke out just before noon Friday at the Muniz family home, on Halifax Drive. “We’re all doing the best we can,” said Johanna Muniz, standing outside the home Saturday morning. “[We] just came to get some clothes, and secure the house,” she said. 

Very little was left at the house Saturday afternoon as Muniz and her husband worked to pack things up. 

“Living room, dining room, office, kitchen, everything's gone,” Muniz said.

That includes Muniz’ two chihuahua's Ginger and Pirate, or Pirata, who died in the blaze. “That was the first thing [on Friday] when I got out of my car, go inside and call them,” she explained. 

Muniz almost lost her life trying to save theirs. “I loved them to death you know,” she explained, “Everything was black I couldn’t see anything, I couldn’t breathe or anything.” 

Outside the house, Muniz’ mother, who lives with the couple, tried to battle the flames with a hose. 

“I was just hearing my mother’s voice and that’s how I got out. Otherwise, I would have stayed there and died also with my puppies.” she said. 

Both Muniz and her mother suffered smoke inhalation. “The next thing I know they were putting me in the car on the ambulance with my mother and we both were taken to the hospital -- but, it was just like three minutes and everything, it was almost gone.” 

Saturday, Muniz, and her mother were both out of the hospital and doing okay. The family’s two golden retrievers and cats survived.

Muniz’ mother is staying with family while Muniz and her husband are staying with a neighbor until they can figure out a long term plan.

The fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire.

As for damages, the family is still waiting to hear back from insurance. “It’s like a nightmare I can’t wake up right now --for the loss of my puppies and the house and everything. It’s hard but with the help of God and friends and family we will go through.” Muniz said. 

The family has since started a GoFundMe to help with the losses.