Response time obtained in fatal Kilgore fire - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Response time obtained in fatal Kilgore fire


KLTV obtained the response times in a Kilgore house fire that killed, 31-year-old Calvin Sickler, Thursday.

According to Kilgore Police, the call came in at 6:43 a.m. The alarm at the fire station notifying officials of a fire went off at 6:46 a.m. Fire crews arrived on scene at 6:49 a.m. This left just six minutes between the time the call came in and when fire crews arrived.

The Kilgore fire marshal has not determined what caused the fire, but says it does not look suspicious.

Just before 7 a.m., the fire department was called to a house in the 700 block of Spell Street.

James Riggins, the victim's brother, says he tried to save his brother's life himself.

"I kicked the front door in and almost ran in, but the fire blew me back," he explains.

When that didn't work, Riggins says he tried a window.

"I tried to get him out of the house. I still have a piece of flesh on my hands where I tried to get him out of the window. I couldn't get him out," says Riggins.

Around 6:30 a.m. kids inside the home started yelling that the house was on fire. Five children and three adults were able to make it out before the fire department arrived.

Riggins claims it took fire crews 20 minutes to get to the scene. The fire department says they were there in three minutes.

"The call came in at 6:45 and our first unit was on scene at 6:48. How much time transpired prior to them calling 911... I can't tell you," says Michael Simmon, the Kilgore Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief.

Fire officials say the fire started in the front room, was intense and moved fast. It quickly claimed everything the Kilgore family had.

"What do I have left? I don't have anything left to lose. I lost my brother. I lost my house," says Riggins.

The family has lived in the home for 10 years. The victim, Calvin, was trapped in a front bedroom.

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