|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - December 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
LVFD battles two residential fires Friday
Polk County Enterprise - December 2009
LIVINGSTON — A massive fire reported at 1:20 a.m. Friday destroyed the home of Hughey and Lucille Nix at 711 West Lake Drive in Lakeside Village near Livingston. Mr. Nix died at 3:18 a.m. at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. He was flown there early Friday morning with burns and inhalation injuries. His grandson Nicholas Baskin said his death was due to burns. Mr. Nix had been suffering from an illness similar to Lou Gehrig’s disease and had been receiving hospice care. Baskin said Mrs. Nix had inhaled a lot of smoke during the fire. She was treated at Memorial Medical Center-Livingston and was released Friday afternoon to go to her husband’s bedside. Nix, his wife, daughter and another teenage grandson were asleep at the home when the fire broke out. The daughter and a teenage grandson were able to escape the house and call for help. Longtime Livingston firefighter Rocky Richards said when he arrived he found Mrs. Nix standing in the bedroom window with fire raging between her and the exterior doors of the house.
Richards said he and a neighbor, Kenny Seek, busted out the bathroom- sized window and helped her out. Her husband was unable to get out of bed due to his illness.Richards said the intense heat sent him back to his truck to get his bunker coat and he returned to the window and was joined by Gabriel Collier with Lone Star EMS and they began pulling on bed linens drawing Mr. Nix closer to the window. They were joined by AmeriCare EMS worker James Arnett. They continued to pull on bedding until they were able to grip Mr. Nix’s arms and shoulders and haul him from the burning home. “A lot of credit goes to Rocky and Gabe, they were on the scene extremely quickly. They helped the wife get out of the house and they were trying to get into the house, but I was reluctant to let them go due to the deteriorating conditions at the house,” Cochran said. “They were doing the only thing they could to give the man a chance. Just a minute or so after they got him out, the fire penetrated the bedroom door and the attic and that part of the house was engulfed in flames,” Cochran said. The origin appeared to be in the middle section of the house and even though the victim used supplemental oxygen, the fire appears to be electrical in nature and not related to the oxygen use.
Livington VFD dispatched three trucks and 20 firefighters. They were joined by one truck and three firefighters from Scenic Loop; two trucks and five firefighters from Onalaska; and two trucks and six firefighters from the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Baskin said he had been able to salvage very few personal items and an insurance adjuster ruled the house was a total loss. Apartment fire Livingston firefighters were able to contain a fire at Ridgecrest Inn to a single apartment unit Friday afternoon. Annie Farr, 65, a 27-year resident of the complex said she had driven to her sisters’ house and returned home to find her apartment on fire at 4:27 p.m. Cochran said Farr’s apartment is the only single story unit in that section of the complex and that may have helped prevent the fire from spreading. The fire apparently began in a bedroom on the side of the apartment nearest the curb, Cochran said. “Smoke worked its way up into the attic of another apartment and firefighters checked the rest of the building to make sure the fire didn’t extend into other areas,” Cochran said. City of Livingston electric crews responded with the fire department and cut off power to the complex. After electric department staff were able to determine there was no risk of reignition, power was restored. Farr’s sister was taken to Memorial Medical Center- Livingston by AmeriCare EMS suffering from anxiety and a pre-existing medical condition, according to Cochran. City Fire Marshal Mark Taylor and Livingston police are investigating the cause and origin of the fire.