GoFundMe established for blind man critically injured in house fire

GoFundMe established for blind man critically injured in house fire
(Source: KCBD Video)
(Source: KCBD Video)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A blind man is in critical condition after being trapped in a house fire late Sunday night, according to the man's sister who was also injured in the fire.

According to the Lubbock Fire Department, LFR responded to a fire at 2909 E Broadway for a reported structure fire at 11:54 p.m. Sunday night.

When crews arrived, they found a considerable amount of smoke and fire in the single-family home. A resident named Olga Alema reported that her brother Billy Herrera, who is also nearly deaf, was trapped inside the home.

LFR Crews were able to get inside the home and rescue the victim. He was transported to the University Medical Center with smoke inhalation, but according to Alema, he is now listed in critical condition with severe burns.

"I heard him, I said 'come on give me your hand,' but he couldn't hear me. Just couldn't hear me. He couldn't see me or nothing. I think he thought I was in the room, but I think he went looking for me," said Alema.

Alema was also burned on her feet but refused treatment.

While she was talking to us, she gave us a tour of what is left of her home.

"There on the floor, that was my Bible."

Lubbock Fire says about 50 percent of the house was damaged by fire, and the entire structure had heavy smoke damage.

"It was just a second, you know? It was just a second, and it happened," said Alema.

The Fire Marshal's Office was called to investigate. They said there were no smoke detectors present inside the house.

According to the Fire Marshal, the fire started in the southwest bedroom because of a container of gasoline that was stored inside the house near burning incense. They say the fire was accidental.

Alema told KCBD she kept the gasoline cans inside her house because people have been stealing the fuel from her. She uses the gas cans to fuel her lawn equipment, which is how she makes a living.

"When I saw it burning, I grabbed it and threw it, thinking you know, before it started burning everything. I thought I could run to my brother and get him but everything happened in a split second you know," she said.

The family is getting help from the Red Cross and is currently setting up a GoFundMe account to help with hospital expenses.

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