LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The Lubbock Fire Department has identified the victim of Monday's deadly house fire as 44-year-old Andrew Vincent Stover. The fire has now been classified as arson.
Fire official say the residence was secure at the time of the fire with no signs of forced entry.
Lubbock firefighters were called to the home in the 8800 block of 9th Street just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
Neighbors described the victim as friendly, but reserved; someone who would always wave and smile when they passed by.
When a neighborhood resident noticed the smoke coming out of the roof, Mike Mojica said he had just come home from work. Another neighbor had already noticed and called the Lubbock Fire Department.
When firefighters arrived seven minutes later (because of a longer response distance) they attempted to make an interior attack and found that the fire was on the second floor.
However, as they made entry, the found that the second floor landing was burned out. They couldn't go any further because of the lack of footing.
Firefighters came back out and made an exterior attack using the ladders in the aerial truck. That got most of the fire knocked out quickly.
Firefighters found a victim in one of the upstairs bedrooms, along with two dead dogs.
Mojica stayed outside with his neighbors for most of the afternoon as they started in shock at the scene.
"We heard glass shattering, glass breaking," he said. "I didn't think it would happen over here, but it did. I can't believe it."
Once Mojica heard someone died, he hoped it was not the man he calls his friend who rented the home.
"We just didn't know where he was at," Mojica said. "He didn't answer his phone."
"It's so sad," he said. "I love him so much. He's in a better place, though."