Once the kitchen floor turned "spongy" during a Coram house fire on Wednesday night, the fire chief ordered all the firefighters out — shortly before the floor and stairs to the basement where the blaze may have begun caved in.
"Nobody got hurt," Coram Fire Chief William Bozeman said by telephone Thursday.
"The flames came upward through the floor," opening a hole, "and the floor collapsed into the basement," he said.
The house, a two-story residence on Hagen Court, was extensively damaged, fire official said.
The Red Cross said Thursday that it had provided emergency financial assistance and recovery information to two families, with five adults and three children, displaced by the fire.
When the firefighters arrived after the fire was reported about 10:11 p.m., dark smoke pouring out the front door and windows made it impossible to see — but one firefighter did manage to find a dog trapped inside and return it to its owner, according to Bozeman and the police.
Battling the blaze became particularly difficult after the firefighters were forced to retreat outside because they could only direct their hoses through a basement window, the chief said.
The cause of the fire will be investigated, officials said.