LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin home was completely destroyed in a house fire around 5 a.m. Saturday. It happened in the 900th block of Weaver Avenue on Lufkin's north side.
A Christmas decoration is one of the only items untouched after the fire. The Lufkin man who lived there was transported to CHI St Luke's Memorial for burns to his hands and body.
"When we looked up, I saw the flames coming from his window," said Gregory Robinson, a witness of the fire. "I didn't know whether to run up to the front or tell my mother to call the police or what."
Officials said the man living in the home was trying to heat it up by burning pieces of coal in a metal pot. He fell asleep, and the coal started the fire.
"It started off with the front window, and it started working its way to the back," Robinson said.
Neighbors who live behind the residence said they often see him burning fire in a barrel in front of his home. Once they saw the flames get out of hand, they knew something was out of the ordinary.
"That's what made me think it wasn't a big deal, but once I started seeing the fire come out of the front window, I knew it was," Robinson said.
Robinson said the home was fully engulfed quickly.
"Once we started walking to the back yard trying to see what was really going on, the fire had already reached the back of the house," Robinson said.
The barrel in the front yard continued to smolder hours later, and Robinson remembered one thing.
"He was hollering for a little bit, but we didn't know if he was burned or what," Robinson said.
The home is a complete loss.
Fire Marshal McCool wants residents to take caution while heating their homes. He said, "Please use caution right now when heating your homes for the winter. You want to make sure your smoke detectors work properly and that you heat your home properly. Also, keeping anything combustible away from the heat source."