Flames wipe out Richland home

Flames wipe out Richland home »Play Video
RICHLAND, Wash. - "It seemed like a lot of fire. It takes a bit for those fires to build up," said Capt. Curtis Walsh.

Cell phone video taken by a neighbor caught a dramatic fire on Smith Street. The flames were about 10 feet tall and shooting out of windows and doors. Crews arrived minutes after the first call came in, but it was too late. Jon Holt's house was destroyed.

Thankfully, he wasn't inside when it started. He makes a daily visit to his daughter nearby. Jon had left just minutes before the fire started. He was inside her home having coffee when sirens blared down the street. Jon walked out to find it was his home they were rushing to. The front of the house completely charred, only a back room is still standing.

Alex Tovar shares a fence with Jon. His family got dressed and ran out the door.

He said, "We were sleeping and we got woke up by the neighbor pounding on the door."

Crews had to get the fire under control before they could even get inside the home to look for anyone. When they learned it was empty, they tried going inside for a moment, but the heat was so intense that the house started to buckle.

Capt. Curtis Walsh said, "It was certainly interesting to see fire coming out of three sides of the building."

It took about an hour to put out the fire.

Jon said he was relieved to be out of the house, until he remembered his pets. He lost two dogs and a bird died in the fire. Jon's biggest worry was getting back his wife's urn.

He made a map for firefighters with a list of belongings he hoped survived. They did find the urn, along with these boxes of old family photos. It's all Jon has left besides the clothes on his back.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. There is no word on the total amount of damage.

Luckily for Jon, he just got renters' insurance a few months ago.