One dead, one in critical condition after North Austin house fire

An early morning fire left one person dead and another in critical condition.

This fire was on Hackberry Lane in North Austin.

Kenneth Holland said he heard a loud boom coming from his neighbor’s house across the street around 1:30 Saturday morning.

“The whole front was on fire and it was just terrible,” said Holland. 

Holland reported the fire to 9-1-1 and watched in horror, wondering if the family he grew up next to would make it out.

“They’re a close-knit family, so for this to happen, this is really terrible,” said Holland.

Austin firefighters said they were on scene in less than 5 minutes.

“When they got here they encountered a lot of fire coming from the front of the house so they made a defensive attack on the house,” said Austin firefighter Gabe Thompson. 

The street was closed to make room for first responders to work and, although it wasn't long before they put out the flames, for neighbors it felt like an eternity.

“About 15 minutes after being here they were able to get inside the house, take a look around, do a search and they did find two victims inside,” said Thompson. 

“I was hoping that they were okay and I wanted to go and help, but the cops said that I could've passed away too,” Holland said. 

A woman in her 70's and a 35-year-old man were taken to UMC Brackenridge in critical condition. The male victim was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“They had their ups and downs just like everybody, but they were nice, kind people,” Holland said. 

Utilities to the home were shut off for much of the day while fire investigators tried to determine the cause. Meanwhile, neighbors mourned the loss of one of their friends.

“It's going to hurt for a while, but time will get better,” said Holland. 

Firefighters said there was $150,000 worth of damage to the home and another $50,000 of damage to belongings.