Four animals are dead, but a family escaped a devastating house fire in central Lubbock. On Thursday at around 9:30 firefighters found the house filled with smoke, the family was safe outside but their pets were helpless inside.
"We were coming down the street and we saw some smoke but we didn't see and fire truck so we turned down the street and there was a woman in her driveway with a few neighbors and we just turned on a few water hoses to see what we could save, until these guys got here," said Tizoc Strong, a witness to the fire.
Fire fighters arrived seconds later to a house fully engulfed with smoke, and panic on the street. "I rushed out of work to come here and find, my animals were missing, my kids were missing, my roommate was missing, everybody was gone, fire trucks were here. Then I found my baby was in the ambulance with my roommate and her son and the kids are ok and she's ok," said Kristi Lightfoot, homeowner.
Kristi and her family have lived here for four years, the fire destroyed almost everything. "I lost two birds, a cat, snake and of course all of my belongings, I have no clothes left, no toys for the kids," Lightfoot said.
Three dogs, an iguana and five other snakes lived through the blaze, apparently started by the children. "My cousin was here with my son and her son, and from what I understood the kids were watching a movie and she fell asleep on the couch and the next thing she new the house was on fire," Lightfoot said.
Fire officials say the kids were playing with either matches or a lighter, they started the fire on the bed in their room, then hid in the garage because they were scared. "They were shaken up at looking at it."
The fire spread quickly, but it was the smoke and heat that did most of the damage. Red Cross arrived to assist the family with food, shelter and clothing. The family plans to stay with friends for now, but doesn't know what they'll do permanently.
|Fire Safety Tips For Your Family|
Fire officials of course want to send out a warning to emphasize the dangers of leaving matches or lighters within a child's reach.