Zavalla man loses home in fire while cooking potatoes

Roy Stanley, homeowner
Roy Stanley, homeowner

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Zavalla man and his cat made it out of his house unharmed, but he lost everything else in a fire started after he fell asleep while cooking potatoes Thursday night.

"Oh well. It's gone. I really don't know what to say because it's just one of those things, I guess. You know? You mess up and then you lose everything in an instant," Roy Stanley said.

Stanley, 65, said he had been living in the house, located off of State Highway 147 just outside the Zavalla city limits, for six years. The house caught fire around 11 p.m.

"I put some potatoes on the stove to cook and I was sitting there watching television and frying them when I woke up," Stanley said.

Stanley said he fell asleep because he is on pain medication for a back injury he sustained several years ago. When he woke up, he saw the cabinet above the stove was on fire.

"I jumped up and tried to put it out but it was so hot I couldn't. All I could do was run outside and holler over to my neighbors house for her," Stanley said.

Volunteers from the Ora, Zavalla, Fuller Springs, and Moffett fire departments responded to the scene.

Lance Dempsey, a volunteer with Ora, says the Lufkin Fire Department said the house was completely involved at the time of the dispatch.

"The house is totally, 100 percent gone," Dempsey said.

Stanley said he will be living in his neighbor's trailer until he can get back on his feet. Officials with American Red Cross came to the scene and gave him clothes Thursday night.

"I plan on staying right here--around here close. I'm 65 years old. You know? I've got no where else to go," Stanley said.

Stanley says he is thankful to be alive, but doesn't want any help.

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