By Victor O'Brien

Killeen Daily Herald

Two Fort Hood soldiers lost a Killeen home they rented in an early morning fire Wednesday while they were on post.

Killeen firefighters responded to a home fire near the intersection of Grasslands and Bobby Lee drives at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday. A fire fully engulfed the garage of a two-story home rented by Staff Sgt. Andrew Kovacsy and Spc. James Kelly with 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

The soldiers were on post training when Kovacsy received a call that his home was on fire.

"I thought it was a crank call. I thought someone was playing a joke," he said.

Kovacsy phoned his neighbor who confirmed his home was on fire.

The fire was extinguished, but not before the garage was destroyed and the upstairs bedrooms damaged by fire. The house was condemned and the Red Cross put the soldiers in a local hotel Wednesday.

The fire ruined Kovacsy's 1987 Honda Hurricane motorcycle, Kelly's 2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster and two four-wheelers, including one Kovacsy had just rebuilt to ride with his daughter during weekends.

"They got most of four toys, but thank God we're all right," Kelly said.

Renters insurance is expected to cover the home properties, but not the motorcycles, Kovacsy said.

"As long as nobody was hurt that's the bottom line. All this stuff can be replaced," Kovacsy said.

The cause of the fire, which started in the garage, was under investigation, said Cory Hall, Killeen fire investigator.

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