Lufkin woman loses nearly everything in house fire

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire that engulfed one woman's home Wednesday evening.

Eighty-six-year-old Martha Kiel didn't know what was happening when she woke up to smoke filling her home.

"I went off to sleep and when I was sleeping, something woke me up, popping, popping," explained Kiel. "I went to go to the kitchen and dining room but I couldn't go [any further] and then I turned around and I could see a little bit of fire popping right up at the top of the house."

  Martha left her burning home, and went across the street to her son's house. They called 911 and the Fire Department arrived at the scene shortly after.

"My husband ran into the house trying to put the fire out with water. He thought he could stop the blaze. It was just kind of [blazing] some. And then it got too bad before they got here so when they came it seems like it got worse," said Martha Kiel's daughter-in-law Lynn Kiel.

Unfortunately, it was too late and Kiel's home could not be saved. The fire destroyed nearly all of her personal items except for her bible and her purse.

This was yet another heart-break for Martha Kiel in an already tragic year. Kiel lost her grandson, former NFL player Terrence Kiel in a car accident.  She also lost her son, Amos Kiel, known as "Famous Amos" in the Lufkin community.

"We've had quite a bit of tragedy, but God knows and for that 86-year- old lady to wake up and to you know for God to just wake her up to hear cracking because everyone knows my "Muh," you know, she kind of dozes a little bit but you know that wasn't nothing but God, to just wake her up and hear that cracking," said Martha Kiel's niece Willie Falk.

The family said that if it wasn't for God, Martha may not have made it out.

"I got my life. Thank the Lord for that," said Kiel.

©2009 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.