Barbecue pit sparked North Austin house fire

House fire on Swearingen Dr. (Kate Weidaw/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Fire investigators say unattended cooking with a barbecue pit accidentally caused a North Austin house blaze early Thursday morning that killed two cats.

It happened at 11700 Swearingen Drive, just north of Braker Lane.

Austin Fire Department officials say two people were asleep inside their house just before 6:15 a.m. The man woke up because he smelled smoke. When he went outside to investigate, he found the deck at the back of the house was on fire.

He called 911 and also tried to put the fire out with a nearby hose, but the flames made it up to the top of the house and burned a hole through the roof.

Firefighters arrived and put the fire out in 20 minutes. While the owners of the house made it out safely, their two cats died in the fire.

Meanwhile, the damage estimate stands at $150,000 for the home and $75,000 for belongings. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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