(NEXSTAR) – A grandmother and three school-aged children died in a house fire Tuesday morning after their neighborhood lost power due to freezing temperatures, firefighters said.
Doug Adolph, spokesperson for Sugar Land Fire and EMS, told reporters that firefighters responding to a call around 2 a.m. found the Houston-area home already on fire. A responder had to physically prevent a 41-year-old woman, identified as the mother of the children, from trying to run into the blaze to save her children.
The cause of the blaze is not yet clear, but photos on social media showed the family using the fireplace for heat after the neighborhood lost power eight hours earlier, Adolph said.
The mother and a friend both suffered burns and were taken to an area hospital, Adolph said. He confirmed that the woman who died in the fire is the mother of the 41-year-old man.
Millions of people lost power in Texas after the state’s power grid was overwhelmed by demand in an extremely cold winter storm, leaving residents shaking in unheated homes as the temperature fell single digit.
Houston authorities reported that a woman and an 8-year-old girl death from carbon monoxide poisoning after letting a car drive in the garage in order to stay warm.
Harris County firefighters, which includes Houston, said at least 14 people, including 7 children, had been taken to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning in the past 24 hours.