ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The family of an Angelina County man is grateful he is alive after an early morning house fire on Jan. 3. The fire started around 2 a.m. on Mossy Creek Road, North of Lufkin off of Highway 69.
When Christinea Gamboa was woken up by the sounds of dogs barking and the light of flames coming from the trailer outside of her house, she was never sure if she would see her grandfather, 67-year-old Charles Seale, again.
Friday morning, she found out he was not in the fire that destroyed his mobile home. Gamboa would learn the Seale was in Nacogdoches with a friend.
"As soon as I saw him, I gave him a hug and said that I loved him and was thankful he was okay," Gamboa.
Less than 24 hours after the fire, Seale walked around the property still wrestling with emotions.
"It's hard to believe," Seale said. "I must have [left right before it started]. I'm really not sure."
Seale's home wasn't the only thing destroyed. Seale's workshop was burned to the ground. It was 10 feet from his neighbor's home.
Seale's neighbor was alerted when his dogs started barking. According to Gamboa, the neighbor would run over to her house and wake her and her grandmother up before trying to control the blaze.
"I'm just grateful that nothing happened to either one of them," Seale said.
"All three houses would have probably burned," neighbor Ada Seale said. "I owe a great gratitude to my neighbor and the Central Fire Department for all of the work."
With no insurance on the trailer, Seale's only possessions are the clothes on his back and his white pickup, but Seale is not worried and says he just has to keep on living.
"God closes one door, and he's going to open another," Seale said.
Chief Dennis Cochran with the Central Volunteer Fire Department has not determined a cause of the fire at this time. Seale said that before he left the trailer, he turned off all of the gas and electricity in the home.
A fund has been set up at Bank of America where people can give donations to Seale. To give donations, all people need to do is tell a clerk that you would like to make a donation to "Charles R Seale".