By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
A Christmas morning fire broke out at the childhood home of global music icon Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Authorities said the incident happened at around 2 a.m. on Monday at the home in the historic Riverside Terrace neighborhood of Houston.
According to local news affiliates, a prompt response from the Houston Fire Department, arriving at the two-story brick house within three to five minutes, prevented further devastation. District Chief Justin Barnes said the flames were successfully contained within 10 minutes of their arrival, averting potential injuries or worse.
Beyoncé’s family reportedly purchased the residence on the 2400 block of Rosedale in 1982, and the megastar herself resided there until the age of five. Notably, the home gained renewed attention when Beyoncé took photographs of the property during her visit to Houston for the Renaissance World Tour.
The now-damaged house, built in 1946, served as a backdrop to the singer’s formative years and has been featured in various films and documentaries celebrating the artist’s life.
Jack May, a neighbor living nearby, told KHOU-TV he witnessed the flames and emergency crews at work. “My first thought was they have little children, so we came out, and there was no indication that there was any tragedy, so we watched and prayed for the best,” May said.
“We have Beyoncé tourists here all the time; it’s bizarre,” May said. “This house was for sale in ’93, which was when the Knowles moved out, and we took a look at it but ultimately didn’t go forward with it.”
For the family living in the home, now displaced, May hopes the Christmas morning fire doesn’t draw additional fanfare.
“Oh, I hope [it draws] less people – there’s nothing to see today that you couldn’t see yesterday or six months from now,” he said.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.