Apartment residents displaced by fatal fire

Apartment residents displaced by fatal fire
Robert Anderson
Robert Anderson

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Robert Anderson did his best to hurry Thursday evening as he approached what used to be his home.

He only had so long to pack what little of his things were left after a fire claimed his room at the Oscar Apartments around midnight Wednesday.

"I got out here and all the smoke was in the air," he said. "I tried to go back in my house, but they wouldn't let me get back in there because of the smoke."

He was in bed when he woke up to screaming.

"The guy that lived on the front upstairs, he was hollering last night and beating on my door and I didn't hear him. By the time I heard it, he was up on the roof here knocking on the window, trying to get people out," Anderson said.

"He was hollering for help, and I couldn't get out fast enough to help him. By the time we did get out, the fire department was already here."

Two women, both his neighbors, died in the blaze. Many other residents of the second floor had to jump to escape the flames.

"I really feel sorry for the people who died in the fire," he said. "I didn't know them, but I knew them when I seen them."

Investigators determined a space heater on the first floor, plugged in next to combustibles, sparked the blaze.

"I had been telling the property owner for the longest time that he needed to fix this because we didn't have no gas over here," Anderson said. "He was trying to help us out by bringing electric heaters and stuff, and they say that's what started the fire."

Still shocked a day later, Anderson rushed to his relatives' truck to get a ride - not sure where to go next.

"I can't be out here in the cold and I paid my rent for the month," he said. "I can't finish living this month now because of what happened last night."

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