Man loses 'everything' in fire

Published on Monday, 27 January 2014 23:37 - Written by Kenneth Dean kdean@tylerpaper.com

While firefighters worked to put out the fire in the small mobile home at 7751 Eleanor St. Monday morning, 60-year-old Monroe Martin stood watching his home burn.

“I lost everything in there,” he said.

Martin said he had lived in the home for about 20 years and was at work when neighbors called saying his house was on fire.

“I got here, and this is what I found,” he said.

Firefighters from multiple departments fought the blaze, but the home was a complete loss despite their efforts.

Smith County Assistant Fire Marshal Oren Hale said the cause of the fire remains unknown at this time.

There have been numerous house fires this season with multiple families displaced.

The American Red Cross Smith County Chapter Executive Director Tammy Prater said the unusual cold weather has led to more fires than typically seen this time of year.

“We are getting slammed from every direction. We typically see 15 fires per month in the Tyler area, but that number has increased to 28 fires this January, but that number will change. We are really strapped. We very much need donations from the public so that we can continue to assist the families and the emergency personnel, who are fighting the fires,” she said.

Fire officials and Ms. Prater reiterated the need to be careful with heating sources such as space heaters.