It's quiet now outside a new addition to the Brock home. But inside, the hum of a fan gets louder when you approach the basement stairs and the smell of paint fumes leaves a terrible reminder.
Wednesday, Bo Brock, a Lamesa veterinarian and his wife left three workers spraying lacquer in their basement as they headed for church. They returned to three men overcome by fumes. "It was a horrible thing. It was awful," said Bo.
When the Brock's came home, one of the workers was lying on the stairs with his head facing up the stairs and his feet facing toward the basement. The two other workers were below him and from there the Brocks can only speculate. " The other two guys may have been trying to pull him out and inhaled so much of that stuff they went down," Bo guesses.
The Brock's called 911 and their nearest neighbors, who came immediately. The four of them tried desperately to pull the worker off the stairs and get to the other two men, but the man was heavy set and they couldn't budge him. Bo recalls, "The fumes were getting to us. We were dizzy and it leaves layers of stuff around your nostrils. So we came up to get air. Finally we got him out and he started getting sick. He didn't look good, but we had to get the others."
Bo credits his neighbors heroism, but not his own. The worker on the stairs, 42-year-old J.D. Saddler did die, but his father J.D. Senior and co-worker D.J. Turner are still fighting for their lives. They are in serious condition at Covenant Medical Center.
The tragedy leaves Bo puzzled - how could an experienced painter die from the very effects the paint cans warn of? "All over the cans that were in the front yard it says 'This can be bad for your brain.' I wish we could have done more," Bo says.
The three painters, from Lubbock, are subcontractors who were working for Phillips Redi-Built Homes.