Century-old Nacogdoches house destroyed by fire - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Century-old Nacogdoches house destroyed by fire

Posted: Updated:
Source: Kevin White Source: Kevin White
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

A house built in the late 1800s burned to the ground Tuesday night in what fire investigators believe could have started with a gas leak.

The house, which had been divided into three apartments, had five occupants. Two were in the house at the time of the fire, but escaped safely. It is located on Hospital Street.

SLIDESHOW:

House fire

According to investigators, one of the residents had turned on an electric heater and then heard a "whoosh."

"I was in this apartment," Russ Havard, one of the home's occupants, said. "It made a little spark, and that's when I heard the noise behind the vent right there."

He opened the closet, saw a wall of fire, and got the other resident out safely.

"And the flames were probably already up in the ceiling about a quarter of the way."

Havard had seconds to call 911 and search for occupants. He found none. However, he didn't know that a hearing-impaired tenant was asleep in one of the units, totally unaware of the blaze. Fortunately, a neighbor reminded him of the possibility.

"And that was exactly what was going on, and he was kinda coming out coughing when they knocked the door in," Havard said.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 8 p.m.

Investigators believe there may have been a gas leak behind the walls. Once the heater came on, it sparked the fire.

"There was raw gas coming out of the main pipe in that room going straight into the attic space, and it spread pretty quick through the attic," Del Birdwell, a fire marshal with the Nacogdoches Fire Department, said.

The deaf man's hearing aids burned. The graduate art student lost her original works. An out-of-town tenant had to ask a friend to look for a cherished memory of her recently deceased dad. There were losses, but everyone is safe and grateful.

"The firefighters were great and the neighbors were just incredible, so that's the main thing I want to say."

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.

  • LOCALLOCALMore>>

  • One dead, one in custody after late night shooting in Hattiesburg

    One dead, one in custody after late night shooting in Hattiesburg

    Saturday, August 23 2014 9:24 AM EDT2014-08-23 13:24:41 GMT
    A Hattiesburg man is dead, and another in custody after a late night shooting on Dabbs Street.  Carlos Yancey, 35, of Hattiesburg died from what appeared to be a gun shot wound according Forrest CountyMore >>
    A Hattiesburg man is dead, and another in custody after a late night shooting on Dabbs Street.More >>
  • A rally to prevent drop-outs

    A rally to prevent drop-outs

    Saturday, August 23 2014 2:00 AM EDT2014-08-23 06:00:12 GMT
    Gautier schools came together this Thursday for a Destination Graduation celebration. Destination Graduation is a drop-out prevention program put in place by the Pascagoula School District to raise theMore >>
    Gautier schools came together this Thursday for a Destination Graduation celebration.
    Destination Graduation is a drop-out prevention program put in place by the Pascagoula School District to raise the graduation rate to 100% over the next five years.








     
    More >>
  • Lee Vance named Jackson's new Chief of Police

    Lee Vance named Jackson's new Chief of Police

    Saturday, August 23 2014 1:16 AM EDT2014-08-23 05:16:23 GMT
    Mayor Tony Yarber has officially named Lee Vance as Jackson's new Chief of Police. Vance is a 27 year veteran with the Jackson Police Department.  He has held several leadership positions within theMore >>

    "He has proven leadership and respect in the community and among the rank and file in the Jackson Police Department," Yarber said. "He also shares the administration's vision for a holistic approach to crime-fighting and crime prevention."More >>