It started as a quiet morning for one Reno family on Cordone Ave., as they settled in to enjoy a March Madness match-up Friday. Things changed suddenly when they noticed flames racing along the back patio and creeping into their house. "All the sudden my son said I can hear something snapping and crack,” described Shirley Lucas, who lived in the house. “We looked out at the back, and it was on fire just completely. It was going right up the wall."
Lucas tried to call for help as other family members snatched up two small children from a bedroom and fled the house. Neighbors who saw the smoke poured onto the street, hoping to help the family. Fire crews arrived to find all five people inside had escaped safely. The family watched their home of more than 50 years swallowed in flames as firefighters swarmed the property in an attempt to save it.
Neighbors say the loss is especially devastating because the family is so generous to others. Now the six people who had been living under this one roof aren’t sure where they will go. Emergency assistance and temporary housing have been provided by a local Red Cross Chapter. So far, the cause of the fire has not officially been determined, but investigators say it appears that cardboard boxes in the area may have caught fire after someone was smoking near the back porch Thursday Night.