Shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday, 53-year-old Butch Ledlow walked toward the kitchen of a home in the 600 block of Avenue C in Brownwood, intending to make coffee.
    Ledlow never made it to the coffee. From the upstairs bedroom, Ledlow heard his nephew’s girlfriend shouting that the bed was on fire.
    “Next thing I know, my nephew’s hauling water up there trying to put the fire out,” Ledlow said. “It spread pretty quick.
    Five of the home’s eight occupants were inside when the fire began, and everyone made it out safely. The fire started when the flame from an open face gas heater ignited a blanket that was too close, Brownwood Fire Marshal Buddy Preston said.
    With the exception of the girlfriend of one of the occupants, the residents are family members, Preston said.
    The fire damage was confined to the bedroom where blaze  started, which was the only upstairs room, Preston said. The downstairs sustained water damage and is repairable, but the seven adults and 15-year-old boy who lived there were displaced by the fire, Preston said.
    “It’s very rebuildable,” Preston said. “There was insurance on the property.”
    The Red Cross is assisting the family, Preston said. “From what I was hearing from them, they are going to go stay with other relatives,” he said.
    No fire damage was visible from the front exterior of the five-bedroom home. Fire trucks took up much of the narrow street in front of the home, and the home’s occupants stood in groups near the structure.
    “We’re glad it didn’t happen at night,” Ledlow said. “It might be a different story.”