Man dies in Tyler Co. house fire

TYLER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Holley Nees - bio | email

TYLER COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - A house fire early Monday just south of Woodville claimed the life of one man.

The Tyler County Sheriff's Office said Howard Lee Jackson,68, died in the fire, but his wife, Martha Fitts Jackson, 66, survived the blaze that destroyed their Seneca Road home.

It has been a deadly week in Tyler County. First, a man was shot to death in the Mount Neches area, east of Woodville, then an apparent accidental shooting near Warren killed a 17-year-old from Saratoga, Texas. Both fatalities are still under investigation and now the Monday morning house fire became the third death for the county in less than a week.

Kyle Morris, an arson investigator with the state fire marshal's office, is looking into Tyler County's third fatality.

"It's always heartbreaking," said Morris. "There's no doubt about it. My heart goes out to the families."

At this point, Morris said there's nothing that indicates arson, but he's hoping what is left of the home will lead him to the cause of the early morning, fatal blaze.

"You first start with an open mind, gathering information just like any other situation like this, interviewing witnesses and then move to the structure, start reading fire patterns, interpreting fire patterns, examining fire debris, removing fire debris, to determine exactly what caused the fire," Morris explained.

All the tragedy is concerning to residents.

"It is scary," said Jinnie Evans. "I tell you, God's fixing to come back and if nobody is ready, they better get ready."

Evans' grandson was recently killed in a car wreck and said even in this quiet community, the deaths hit close to home.

"It's quiet, peaceful, it's a good place to live," said Evans.

Residents said all the ashes and death could be a sign of the times.

"I'm probably being naive, but on the large scale of what's going on everywhere else, I feel pretty safe," said Beth Black.

Morris left the scene Monday afternoon, but will continue searching for clues to solve Tyler County's most recent fatality.

Morris said it could be a few days before the investigation yields any results.

Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.