Monday morning Central Montgomery County Fire Department and Needham Fire Department were dispatched to a reported house fire on Red Bud in the Magnolia Bend Subdivision. When they arrived a female and three children were backing out of the driveway and smoke was visible from the home. As firefighters entered the home smoke was at waist level. The fire which appeared to have originated in a back bedroom mattress was quickly extinguished.
Firefighters notified the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office of the fire and requested Investigators Scott Burlin and Roland Morgan to the scene. They also requested the Sheriff’s Office. The female and her three children that were about to leave remained on the scene.
When the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office arrived and fire investigators firefighters led them through the home where the fire was. Inside the home there was no running water, no electricity and no gas. The home which was owned by the female, Bridget Watson, 30 was in extremely poor condition. Windows were broken, sheetrock caved in and it was discovered a restroom had been set up in a room since there was no sewer service. Investigators also noted the lack of food in the house. Investigators interviewed Watson and her children but were unable to determine the cause of the fire.
Texas Child Protective Services was notified due to the living conditions of the three children ages seven, twelve and fourteen. In addition the Red Cross was notified.
As firefighters and investigators awaited the arrival of the agencies the three children asked the firefighters if by chance they had anything to eat. They stated they were hungry and haven’t eaten in awhile. Just before the firefighters responded to the call they had been in the midst of cooking breakfast. Chief Farthing of Central Montgomery County Fire Department sent a firefighter back to the station to retrieve what had been cooked and some additional food. The youngsters also took time to try on the firefighters gear.
Child Protective Services arrived a short time later and after speaking with everyone involved , took custody of the children after learning Watson had nowhere to live and no means to care for the children.. According to officials, the father of the children is currently in prison and the mother was trying to do all she could to provide for the children.