A man using a stove to heat his home barely escaped with his life Tuesday as he jumped from a bedroom window as flames consumed the wood-framed house.
Tyler Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal Jeff Tucker said the fire broke out about 11:30 a.m. in the home on the corner of Cochran Street and North Ross Avenue.
Tucker said the occupant told investigators he had been using his stove for heat and decided to cook some fish.
“He said he put the oil on to heat and then fell asleep in a bedroom. He awoke to smoke and loud popping and went out of the bedroom window,” Tucker said.
Firefighters responded quickly, but the structure was consumed by the time they arrived.
The occupant attempted to get into his pickup, but firefighters ushered the man from the scene with help from police officers, because the truck was smoking.
“Why can’t someone get my truck? Don’t just let it burn,” he said as he stood across the street.
Moments later, the man got into a car and left the area.
Tucker said using a stove to heat a home is not a good idea.
“We’ve had an extremely cool winter, and that is helping contribute to the number of house fires we are seeing this year,” he said.
The American Red Cross Smith County Chapter is asking for donations to help them continue assisting families affected by house fires.