The Brownwood Fire Department responded to the home and extinguished the fire. The fire had cooled enough for Fire Marshal Buddy Preston and Nika, the arson dog, to investigate. According to Preston, Nika had two places at the scene where she alerted to an acetone substance.
"Nika had two positive hits in the home," said Preston. "Someone was staying there and may have used something to build a fire to stay warm."
The owner of the home, Roy Maldonado, stated that he and his family are not currently living in the home and he was unsure who had been staying in the residence in their absence. He said that an investigation of the fire determined someone had stayed in the home overnight and possibly had candles or a fire lit. The owner stated that the home had no utilities on at the time of the fire.
"We had all of our belongings in the home, it was still fully furnished," said Maldonado. "We lost everything."
According to Maldonado, the couple and their infant son had moved out and were living in another town, but had plans to remodel the home.
Photo courtesy of Jay McBride.