LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – A Lubbock man died earlier Thursday morning after firemen responded to a house fire at 3117 27th Street.
Fire investigators tell us 49 year-old William Reed Quilliam III was found dead inside in his front bedroom. According to Quilliam's family he has a history of medical issues and is disabled.
Mr. Quilliam's caretaker showed up around 8:00 a.m., like neighbors said she always does, only to discover smoke billowing out of the roof vents. The caretaker then called 911 along with others in the area.
"Upon our arrival the caregiver advised us there was a person inside or she felt there was a person inside. And we have confirmed one deceased person was inside," said Robert Loveless, a fire investigator for Lubbock Fire Department.
Fire investigators said it was impossible because of the smoke and heat coming from the house.
"We do have thermal imagers that do see through smoke, but even visibility with that is limited. So most of that is done by feel," said Loveless.
Quilliam's next door neighbor said she saw everything. "Fire trucks and smoke coming out of this side of the house," said Jeanette Pickens, the victim's next door neighbor.
Picken's said she's lived next to Quilliam for two years and never saw him come out of his house, which she thinks is due to his medical condition. "There were fire trucks and an ambulance came once or twice but I never saw him," said Pickens.
She said smoke came through her door, just steps away from the victims home, until firefighters contained the fire. "Well it's not very pleasant. I'm glad it's not my house. I'm sorry it was anybody's that's so bad," said Pickens.
Fire investigators are still figuring out how the fire started and what the cause of death was. We will continue to follow this investigation and bring you the latest as it becomes available.
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