House Fire Kills Man Inside - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/18/06-White Oak

House Fire Kills Man Inside

Brinkley Campbell Brinkley Campbell

A fire engulfs an elderly man's home this morning. Investigators say the fire started around 3 o'clock in the 100 block of North Park Street in White Oak. The man inside the home, 97- year- old Brinkley Campbell died.

Investigators say a cause is still undetermined, but they have ruled out foul- play. Officials say the fire started in Campbell's bedroom. They believe a lamp may have fallen over, causing the fire. Once the flames were out, fire crews found Campbell lying in the hallway.

For more than 75 years-- 97-year-old Brinkley Campbell  lived in White Oak. Neighbors, like Lynn Vaughn, say, "he knew everything that happened in White Oak and especially this street.

Vaughn has lived across the street from Campbell for the past 4 decades. He says Campbell was always an outgoing neighbor.  "He liked to gossip. He kept up on all the news and every time I'd come over there he'd tell me who all was sick and who all had surgery. He kept up with them."

His daughter-in-law's sister, Margaret Cibele, says,  "he wanted to know what everyone was doing, how they were doing in business and if I thought they were making good and doing okay."

White Oak Residents say Campbell was well-known in the town. "Everybody loved him. I mean you just can't hardly talk to anyone without them knowing who Brinkley is." 

The East Texas community says they want to remember their beloved family, friend and neighbor for the life he lived, and not how he died. "I mean at 97 we kind of probably knew that somebody you know we would get the call, but not like this. This hurt worse," says Cibele.

His friends and family say despite the pain their going through, they find comfort knowing Campbell would have been proud he lived this long.

Campbell also worked for Arco Oil Company for more than 40 years. Funeral services are pending.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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