Family's precious mementos destroyed in fire



As he watched his home gutted in the aftermath of a fire, Alan Ziemetz said he and his family were glad at least that no one was hurt.

“We'll figure something out,” he said regarding his family's living situation. “We've got family in Burnet.  We have insurance – a lot of people out here don't.”

The house in the 1300 block of Indian Wells Drive outside of Bertram caught on fire due to unknown causes at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, July 13.

Bertram Volunteer Fire Chief Bobby Huffstuttler said the home was a “total loss.”

“When we arrived it had vented up through the roof. There were heavy flames and a lot of fire in the attic,” he said.

No one was in the home at the time of the fire, Ziemetz said. He and his wife both were at work in Burnet, and their son and his wife and small child who live in another house on the property were away from home. A pet blue heeler on the property was unharmed, although a calico cat is still missing.

“We're still mopping up,” Huffstuttler said at 10:15 a.m. “We'll be doing an investigation to find out what caused it.”

Ziemetz, who works as a contractor, said the damage looked like the fire might have been electrical. The majority of their belongings and family artifacts have been destroyed.

“All of our pictures, all of our baby stuff… Our daughter passed away six years ago, and we still had her teddy bear--” he paused tearfully, “--those things can't be replaced, but everyone is safe and that's what is important.”

First responders were alerted to the fire when neighbor Jim Palmer saw the smoke while working with a tractor on his property across the road.

“I went up there and the door was open, so I went in yelling and screaming to make sure nobody was in there, but the ceiling was popping so I got out of there,” he said.

Burnet Fire Rescue, Burnet Volunteer Fire and EMS, East Lake Buchanan Volunteer Fire Department and Burnet County Sheriff's Deputies all responded to the scene.

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