Deadly fire in East Texas sparked by firework shells - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Deadly fire in East Texas sparked by firework shells

TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -

Fourth of July celebrations ended tragically for a Bowie County family Thursday night. Liberty Eylau firefighters say they believe fireworks are to blame for a house fire that killed a man and injured his wife.

Firefighters say the fire broke out just before 12 a.m. at a home on the 100 block of Douglas Street. 

"I told them to get their phone and call 9-1-1," says Braydon Anderson, a 7-year-old witness to the fire.

Braydon was first to notice his neighbor's house burning.

"I was hearing fireworks and I saw orange out the window, and I looked out the window and I saw a fire."

Steven Lawrence, 60, was not able to make it out of the burning home. His wife, Katherine, made it to the front yard but could not get over a 6-foot fence. The heat from the blaze prevented neighbors from helping.

Kim Cheramie was one of the neighbors who tried to help.

"I feel like my face is burnt because of the intensity of the heat from the house."

Bowie County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene and pulled Katherine over the fence. She was taken to a Texarkana hospital for treatment of injuries she suffered during the fire.

The deputies tried to go through a window to rescue Lawrence but was not successful. The couple's son told investigators that, in an effort to clean the property, he had put used fireworks in a trash can, and somehow that can ignited.

Liberty Eylau Fire Chief David Weslehoff calls that a good idea but added, "Always keep a waterhose around when you are discharging fireworks. And always when you get through with your rubbish and debris, soak it in a bucket of water or pour water over it before putting it in trash can."

Three vehicles and a storage building was also damaged, but neighbors say the loss of life is what they will remember.

"He was a real good neighbor," Judy Anderson says.

This was one of six fires in Bowie County related to fireworks during the holiday.

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

  • Local/State NewsMore>>

  • Crews battle Plank Road trailer fire

    Crews battle Plank Road trailer fire

    Source: WAFBSource: WAFB

    Emergency crews are responding to an apartment fire on Plank Road.

    More >>

    Emergency crews are responding to an apartment fire on Plank Road.

    More >>
  • Power of 9 Honoree: Forum 35

    Power of 9 Honoree: Forum 35

    Friday, November 24 2017 7:24 PM EST2017-11-25 00:24:51 GMT
    Forum 35 helps Merrydale Elementary beautify its campus. (Source: Forum 35)Forum 35 helps Merrydale Elementary beautify its campus. (Source: Forum 35)

    St. Vincent de Paul's food servers wear hair nets when many are white-collar corporate types in their real jobs.

    More >>

    St. Vincent de Paul's food servers wear hair nets when many are white-collar corporate types in their real jobs.

    More >>
  • Juban Crossing packed for Black Friday

    Juban Crossing packed for Black Friday

    Juban Crossing (Source: WAFB)Juban Crossing (Source: WAFB)

    Some people headed out Thursday for the deals, others waited until Black Friday, but some purposely avoided shopping in Baton Rouge and went to Livingston Parish instead.

    More >>

    Some people headed out Thursday for the deals, others waited until Black Friday, but some purposely avoided shopping in Baton Rouge and went to Livingston Parish instead.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly