Family Escapes House Fire

Faulty electrical wiring is believed to be the cause of a house fire in the 200 block of Forest Park in Lufkin.

"I just heard a whole lot of popping sounds coming from the backyard," said Mya Okallo. "I was in the kitchen washing my hair and then all of a sudden I looked out the window and I seen smoke and the power started flashing on and off, so I walked to the back door and I seen flames. So the first thing I did was grab my baby and run."

There wasn't much damage from the fire itself, but it'll be a while before the family living there can move back home. It's a big change in their lives, just a week before Thanksgiving and two weeks before Mya's little girl's first birthday.

"All we can do is hope and pray we get somewhere better right now, out the cold," said Okallo.

The fire started just after 10:00 a.m. Thursday in the back of the house.

Lufkin Fire Marshal Duane Freeman said, "The fire originated around the electrical service panel. Now, whether that was due to a short or an increased demand - the cold morning, increased heater use, something of that nature - it's unclear at this point."

As temperatures drop, authorities are reminding East Texans it's a good idea to have their central heating units serviced by a qualified technician before using them.

The owner of the home will put the family up in another house until the electrical problems there are taken care of. They should be able to move back to Forest Park in about a month.