TIKI ISLAND — Black smoke poured into the sky above a normally quiet village opposite Galveston Island on Wednesday morning, as fire crews worked to put out a quick-moving blaze in an unoccupied rental home.

Emergency responders began receiving calls about the fire just after 9 a.m., said Tiki Island Fire Chief Micah Simons. The building at 1115 Makatea Street was engulfed when the first responders arrived, he said.

“We immediately went into defensive mode,” Simons said. 

The fire department worked to prevent the fire from spreading to a neighboring building. The flames from the burning building were hot enough to melt the siding of the neighboring house, but it largely escaped damage.

“It’s very hard for us to get a quick attack on these elevated structures, but we were able to keep it contained to the initial structure,” Simons said.

Simons said that neither the burning home nor the neighboring house was occupied at the time of the fire.

The Galveston Central Appraisal District lists the owner of the house as Lizabeth Comiskey. It had an assessed value of $252,890.

Fire crews from Bayou Vista, Galveston, Texas City, La Marque and Hitchcock were called for assistance with the fire. The cause of the fire was under investigation Wednesday.

As the building burned, Tiki Island residents stood by and watched, some of them taking photos with their cellphones. Some residents brought bottles of water and ice to the firefighters, as temperatures Wednesday morning hovered near 90 degrees.

Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnews.com.

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