Overnight Fire Kills Lubbock Man - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/15/02

Overnight Fire Kills Lubbock Man

One man died in an overnight fire in Lubbock County, and Tuesday, investigators are left without answers. Firefighters were called out early Tuesday morning, when the victim's wife escaped the flames and flagged down an oncoming car to call 9-11.

"Upon arrival, we found the female occupant of the house standing in the front yard, and she did state that her husband was stuck inside. All she could tell us was that they heard what sounded like an explosion to them, by the time they got up there was heavy smoke and fire," said Russ Perkins, Assistant Chief of Idalou Fire Department.

Volunteer firefighters from Idalou and Roosevelt arrived to fight the flames filling the house in the 6600 block of Idalou Road. Assistant Idalou Fire Chief Russ Perkins says it took some time for firefighters to get inside because the house was supercharged with heat and gas.

"It was just extremely hot, too hot for those guys to go in at that point," said Chief Perkins.

Next door neighbor Marilyn Stearns says she awoke to the sirens.

"By the time we got outside, the helicopter had already landed and they was pulling Mr. Graham from inside the house to the outside to load him up, and his son told me this morning that he had no heartbeat and he was burned over 75% of his body," said witness, Marilyn Stearns.

Aerocare flew 84 year-old Quentin Graham to University Medical Center where he would die. His friend Lee Ford was upset to here the news.

"It was a tragedy for me cause that's the first thing I saw when I came in this morning. He usually meets me out in the driveway picking up his paper and when I seen that yellow line around there that was just it," said Lee Ford, a neighbor and friend.

Fire officials say the explosion they heard was more than likely a window popping. The exact cause of the fire is and will remain undetermined. Investigators do say it was an accident. They suspect it started from old electrical wiring or an extension cord.

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