Avondale home firebombed; mom, toddler escape


Fire, labeled arson, destroyed a house on Tuesday in the 1100 block of Avondale Avenue and spread to a second, leaving 12 people homeless.

Battalion Fire Chief James Price said firefighters responded to the fire at 1140 Avondale at 11:40 p.m. Lamia Sanders, told Chief Price she was awakened by the sound of breaking glass and then flames.

Ms. Sanders said she picked up her toddler-aged child and fled. Chief Price said the odor of gasoline was detected by firefighters who entered the home. They also found a gasoline can in the back yard. 

Chief Price said the fire spread to 1138 Avondale Ave., damaging the front porch roof, exterior siding, and portions of the attic. There were 10 people in the home, watching television coverage of the San Antonio Spurs' defeat of the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals sixth game.

Chief Price said the fires were under control by 12:10 a.m., but it wasn't until about 3 a.m. before crews were finished with cleanup at the scene. The damage to the home at 1140 Avondale was estimated at $20,000 and $7,500 to the home at 1138 Avondale, Chief Price said. Both homes are owned by Lester Haynes, the chief said.

A second blaze -- about 2 a.m. today -- in a vacant house at 666 Pleasant Place caused $17,000 damage, according to Battalion Fire Chief Christine Davis, who called for an arson investigator to determine a cause of the blaze. Fire crews were on the scene until about 4 a.m. cleaning up after the blaze.