Former volunteer firefighter helps contain mobile home fire: 'Instinct kicked in'

Mobile home fire (Source: KLTV)
Mobile home fire (Source: KLTV)
Mobile home fire (Source: KLTV)
Mobile home fire (Source: KLTV)

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Smith County firefighters spent late Monday morning extinguishing the flames that tore through a mobile home. But, even before they arrived, a former volunteer firefighter was hard at work making sure the fire didn't spread even more than it already had.

"I was just driving by to see my papaw and my mom at the nursing home, and I just saw the smoke and in my gut, something wasn't right," said Shelby Murphree. "I knew I should probably just call that in, even if it was just someone burning. By the time I turned around, it was engulfed."

Murphree's call started an effort that involved several fire departments from around Smith County. Murphree is a former volunteer firefighter in Van Zandt County, so she knew what to do even before they arrived.

"I grabbed a water hose and immediately started watering down fences, and tried to get everything wet so the flames didn't spread," Murphree said.

Neighbors living in the area took notice and helped in what way they could. 

"Instinct immediately kicked in," Murphree said. "It was pretty nerve-wracking at first, but you've got to get into the situation where you can't freak out, you've got to stay calm, 'cause if you freak out, everyone else is going to start doing it."

Fortunately, there was no one inside the mobile home at the time. Murphree said it appears as though the mobile home was older, and she was not sure if anyone lived in it in the first place. Either way, she's glad she made the call, and she urged anyone to say something if they see something.

"Even if it's just somebody burning a thing of leaves, just to be on the safe side, just say something," Murphree said.

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