Fire damages Challenger astronaut widow’s Houston-area home

EL LAGO, Texas (AP) — The widow of 1986 Challenger astronaut Ron McNair has escaped injury following a fire at her Houston-area home near Johnson Space Center.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze Wednesday at the home of Cheryl McNair. Fire crews also helped save some astronaut memorabilia and the family’s cat from the house in El Lago (LAH’-go).

Seabrook Volunteer Fire Department Chief Andrew Gutacker (GUH’-tuh-ker) says the fire may have been electrical and appears to have started in the attic.

Cheryl McNair is a founding director of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, which was created by families of the seven astronauts killed when the Challenger shuttle exploded in January 1986.

Ron McNair was a South Carolina native and graduate of North Carolina A&T State University.

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