Diana fire kills one, hospitalizes second resident - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Diana fire kills one, hospitalizes second resident

(Source: KLTV News Staff) (Source: KLTV News Staff)

An early morning house fire claims the life of one East Texan and sends another to a Louisiana hospital for treatment of burns, in spite of heroic efforts by firefighters.

It happened just after 5 a.m. in the 9600 block of Highway 154 in Upshur County, just west of Diana, where fire officials say a woman perished in the burned home. There were three people in the home, one of them escaping unharmed.

Diana VFD and three other departments including Gilmer converged on the home as it began to be fully engulfed. The home was familiar to Diana firefighters.

"I knew the family. It's pretty tough, especially in a small town like Diana or Gilmer," said Diana volunteer firefighter Justin Hankins. A male victim was rescued and flown to LSU Hospital in Shreveport for injuries received during the fire.

"One person was transported, and they do have family checking on them," says State Fire Marshal Paul Ayres.

Diana fire units responded quickly and threw tons of water on the structure, keeping it from collapsing.

"When they arrived on scene they had two people that were inside the home injured. And they still had one person inside the house, so they immediately tried to get inside to see if they could get that person out," Ayers says.

But the flames did not stop them from trying. All volunteers, they did not hesitate. With the building burning around them, they smashed through the front door, trying to get to the one person left inside.

"We were informed when we arrived on scene that there was a person left in the building. It's a choice you've got to live with, and you make every time the pager goes off. The fire was still going, it was probably at its peak before we laid a knockdown on it. To get it down so we could go inside," Hankins says.

The investigating fire marshal says every possible effort was made by the firefighters to save the occupants. 

The fire's cause is not known.

Related: Woman dies, husband injured in Diana house fire

"We're going to be looking at any number of variables that could have caused this fire," says Ayers.

Tragically the woman inside died. But firefighters say they had to try.

"Do you want to live with yourself knowing that there's something you could have done?" Hankins says.

The condition of the man flown to the hospital has not been released, and no names of the occupants of the home have been released at this time

The fire marshal says early indications are that the fire may have started in the kitchen area.

The Diana Fire Department went on to battle two more fires after they were released from the scene.

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