LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A fire destroyed a carport, two cars and damaged a neighbor's house Monday afternoon on the 900 block of Turner Street.
The fire started shortly before noon Monday. The Lufkin Fire Department was able to put the fire out. The carport as well as the two cars inside were a total loss.
Jo Whitaker told a Lufkin Police officer that she heard an explosion and when she checked to see what was going on, she saw that her carport was on fire. She grabbed one of her dogs and got out of the home as quickly as possible.
Kris Hamilton, who lives down the street from the home, heard the explosions as well.
"I kept hearing this booming noise and it just kept getting louder," Hamilton explained. "I looked outside and saw a large amount of smoke."
William Roberts, who was just passing by while out on his lunch break, noticed the car port of the home was on fire.
"I turned around, pulled into the driveway, called 911, and within a about a minute, the garage was up in flames," Roberts said.
Whitaker came outside to find that Lufkin Fire Department was on already coming down the street. "I heard sirens coming so I realized someone had already called the fire department," Whitaker explained.
Hamilton, Roberts, as well as several other neighbors called 911, while searching for Whitaker, glad to see she made it out of her home safely.
"I didn't know where she was until I came over and saw her with the dogs," Hamilton recalled. "I was relieved to see her and that no one was hurt."
Although Whitaker's home incurred minor damage, and the carport and vehicles were lost, she's amazed by the care and kindness of her neighbors, as well as Roberts, a man she doesn't know.
"I appreciate my neighbors," Whitaker said. "We may not hang out together a whole lot, but I know that I can count on them when things happen like this, thank goodness!"
The house next door to the port, located in the 300 block of Pershing Avenue, had a fire in the attic. The Lufkin Fire Department was able to put the fire out. No one was injured.
Jeff McReynolds, a deputy fire marshal with the Lufkin Fire Department said the neighboring home is not livable at this time because it suffered slight fire damage and water damage.
According to McReynolds, LFD is still early into the investigation, but they have determined the fire was caused unintentionally by a heat source too close to combustibles.