Luella house fire threatens neighborhood

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

Luella, Tex. - A Luella house fire had neighbors scrambling Monday night, as the fire began to quickly spread.

The fire started around 9 p.m. at a house on Cedar Road. After burning the original house to the ground, it turned into a grass fire.

Tammy Brinkley, who lives down the street, saw the fire steadily encroaching on her neighbor's house and knew she had to act.

"I said the dogs will just have to bite me, I have to wake this man up here across the way. And I woke my neighbors up - they were asleep also," she said. "I said 'the house across the way here is on fire.' I said 'you need to wake up because it's coming across the field.'"

Jason Lankford, Tom Bean assistant fire chief, said when his crews showed up, their job wasn't to save the burning house.

"When they arrived, the fire was burning towards the next house, so they concentrated on stopping it - because this house was already totaled," he said.

Brinkley said the neighbors got their garden hoses and began to help the firefighters fight the growing brush fire. They were worried it would cross the street into the next block, she said.

Grayson County Fire Marshal Kevin Walton said the wind and drought spread the fire easily and quickly.

He said they're still investigating the cause.

"What we're doing right now, we're looking for an electric meter base," he said. "So when we find that, we'll be able to tell a little more maybe."

Tom Bean, Sherman, Bells, Howe and Whitewright all sent trucks to help with the ground fire. Walton credits the Tom Bean fire department for putting out the grass fire before the situation got worse.

Brinkley agrees they were fortunate no one was hurt and no other homes were lost.

"We're thankful that it didn't spread as fast as it could have because of the way the wind was blowing," she said. "God definitely had a hand in that because the wind was blowing pretty strong."

Walton said two men who rent the house were at home when the fire started, but both made it out safely.

They've been put up in a motel room by the American Red Cross.


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