LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man thought nothing of the smell of smoke near his home at around 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
"I thought somebody was burning grass or leaves behind the duplex. Then I walked around there and that old barn was on fire," said one resident who lost him home to the fire.
Then, he saw the flames. Hudson, Central, Rivercrest and Lufkin Fire Departments rushed to the fire on Generic Lane off Highway 103. Residents say there would be even more damage if those firefighters were just minutes later.
"This building and the building around the back were full of about 3000 pounds of gunpowder and explosives," said Angela Goodson, who owns the fireworks stand that was in the vicinity of the fire.
The stand was just set up for the approaching holidays, and it sat just feet from the smoldering flames.
"You all saved a lot of homes by putting this fire out before it got to the stand," said Goodson.
The fire started in a barn behind the duplex. Two families, one with a child and dog, lived here.
"We found a barn fully involved in a duplex. Both sides of the duplex have been heavily damaged. The barn is a total loss,"said Caleb Ramsey, Hudson VFD captain,
"It's a loss. I looked into it awhile ago, the back end is burnt out,"said James Jones, the owner of the property.
It wasn't a total loss. The resident was able to get his favorite things out of the fire without a scratch.
"I got my wife and my girl out, that's the main important things," he said.
The landlord owns several homes in the area, and he already has a plan to put the families somewhere temporarily after their losses. Jones says he has an apartment and an RV that each family can stay in.
"They're good people," said Jones.
"I guess I'm blessed."