Three women are dead after a fire broke out at a home in Nolanville around noon Wednesday.
Officials said an 85-year-old woman, along with her 46-year-old daughter and 19-year-old granddaughter died in the blaze. Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke pronounced the women dead. All three were residents of the home, which is a total loss, according to police.
A family dog and a cat also died in the blaze, according to Nolanville police Chief Daniel Porter. A 16-year-old boy also lived at the home, but was at school when the fire happened, Porter said.
"This older part of Nolanville, there are people and families who have been here for a long time...and what I found by talking to people is that everybody knows everybody in this part of town," Porter said. "There was a lot of emotion and a lot of people coming up who wanted to reach out and help...There's a lot of concern."
Firefighters responded to the fire on the 400 block of North 4th Street in Nolanville, and it took about 20 to 30 minutes to get the fire under control before firefighters could enter the building. Two firefighters from the Central Bell County Volunteer Fire Department suffered injuries from heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation, according to Porter, and were treated on scene.
The fire, under investigation, is believed to have started in or near the garage, officials said.
Ammunition stored in the home was exploding due to the fire, Porter said, which provided another level of danger for first responders.
Two cars outside of the home also appeared to suffer damage from the fire.
Officials have not disclosed the names of the victims or the cause or the fire.
Michael Hammon lives nearby on North First Street, and said he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette around noon when he heard a loud explosion. Porter later said that was likely the tires from the cars popping.
At first, Hammon thought the sound was from Fort Hood, but he saw the smoke and made his way over to the vicinity of the fire.
"I could smell all the plastic and whatever else was burning," Hammon said.
The Bell County fire marshal and state fire marshal's office are involved in the investigation because the fire resulted in death.
MAY THEY REST IN PEACE...SO VERY SAD CENTRAL TEXASI