Fire investigators believe a water heater in the garage of a south Abilene home malfunctioned and sparked a blaze that damaged the house last weekend.
Investigators say the failure resulted in electrical arcing which ignited nearby combustibles.
The fire has been ruled accidental. The displaced family continues to stay with relatives.
A late night fire almost completely destroyed a south Abilene home Saturday night.
The Abilene Fire Department fought the fire for more than four hours in the 3400 block of Kensington.
The family inside was able to make it out safely with their two dogs.
The fire is believed to have started in the garage although it is still under investigation.
"The entire attic's going to be destroyed, and a lot of the roof, probably at least half of the roof in the center section was completely gone," an official with the Abilene Fire Department said.
The Abilene Fire Department issued the following release this morning regarding Sunday morning's fire:
At approximately 2:00 in the early morning hours of Jan. 15, 2012 the Abilene Fire Department was called to a home in the 3000 block of Kensington Lane. Upon arrival Engine 6 and Ladder 6 found that the garage area was fully involved with heavy smoke and flames. The owner and his family were outside of the home awaiting our arrival. The owner advised us that he had heard noises coming from the garage and attic area and believed it to be squirrels. But upon further investigation he found fire in the heater closet in the garage. In all a total of 9 pieces of equipment responded to this fire which included 4 Engines, 2 Ladders, Battalion 1, AFD Field Resource Medic and an Arson Investigator. One firefighter went to the hospital for heat exhaustion and/or smoke inhalation. The home was a total loss and the value of the home has not been determined yet. Both of the residents vehicles were in the garage at the time and were a total loss as well.
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