ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Huntington volunteer firefighter died Thursday evening while apparently fighting a fire, according to the chief of the department.
David Goins, 47, died as a fire raged around him, just feet from his own home.
"Everybody has a tendency after they've been a firefighter for a while, they feel like they can handle it and I feel like David probably could've, that's why I don't know what happened because he had a lot of experience," said fire chief Jerry LaSalle, "I find it hard to believe he'd let the fire get him or the smoke."
The fire chief said they were never dispatched out to the blaze at their fellow fireman's house.
Fellow firefighter Kimberly Clark said firefighters with the Texas Forest Service were responding to a brush fire near Goins residence on Kay Currie Road when they found him dead, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
A burn ban may have helped, but the county says they're monitoring the situation daily.
Goins is survived by three sons, Clark said.
Lufkin Fire Department spokesman Steve McCool said Goins worked as a Lufkin firefighter from 1985 to 1996, working his way up to lieutenant when he resigned.
"I worked for him for a couple years," McCool said. "He was a good man and I hate to see the loss."
An autopsy is being done and funeral arrangements are pending.
Friday, flags flew at half-staff as they remember their beloved 7407.
Regardless, LaSalle says Goin's death is a reminder of the danger his men face daily.
"Every fire you go, you can get trapped by the fire, smoke," LaSalle said.
Right now, for the Huntington department, what really happened to their fireman is a mystery.
"He was just an all-around good person and he would help anybody," LaSalle said. "That was David. That's just the way he was."