Fire leaves family with only memories

North Montgomery County – A two alarm pre-dawn fire destroyed the family home of a local man whose life is devoted to public service.

At 3:29 a.m. the North Montgomery County Fire Department responded to what was reported as a grass and woods fire, in a sparsely populated area north of Cut-and-Shoot, near the San Jacinto County line. When firefighters reached the 17600 block of Dogwood Drive, they found it was not only a structure fire, but it was the home of one of their own.

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Jason Hammons is a NMCFD volunteer firefighter in his free time and is currently employed by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division. He is in training at the MCSO Academy to become a patrol deputy, according to Captain Ken Ariola. Hammons’ family home was a beautiful two-story log house nestled in a heavily wooded area, which is why the reportee was unable to see that the thick smoke was coming from more from more than the burning landscape.

When firefighters arrived, the blaze was already well underway and crews immediately went into defensive mode, according to Darren Hess with the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office.

At 3:45 a.m., the call was changed to a structure fire and at 4:05 a.m., a second-alarm was pulled. Before all was said and done, Montgomery, Cut-and-Shoot and Grangerland Fire Departments had joined North Montgomery County. The home literally burned to the ground, with the last scorched wall collapsing around 9 a.m.
Many trees and a vehicle also burned.

There were no physical injuries to civilians or firefighters, but Hammons, his mother and his sister lost everything. Hess said factors contributing to the total loss were the intensity of the fire before crews arrived and the lack of an adequate water supply, forcing firefighters to shuttle water by tanker truck.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Hess said.

Captain Ariola, who called Hammons toward the end of the fire, said some funds were collected from fellow officers to help the family. However, much more is needed, since they are left with nothing more than the shirts on their backs. Ariola said he already contacted the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Association (MCLEA) and along with the jail staff and the MCSO, they hope to raise money to assist the Hammons family, whether it be through private contributions or fundraisers.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help the Hammons family can call the Montgomery County Jail sergeants line at (936)760-5846 or the main Jail number at (936)760-5814.

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