Lufkin pastor who took in, comforted family recounts Helen St. fire

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Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 1:53 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2022 at 9:54 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - A family of seven is unharmed after yesterday’s fire on Helen Street. The aftermath and the damage can be clearly seen from the street entering the small neighborhood. Across from the home lives pastor Homer Freeman, who did what he could to help the family.

“The people that live here, they was all hysterical,” Freeman said. “I think it was a family of five, and then they had two kids, and then they had four dogs. I took one dog over there to my house to keep while they was getting situated and everything. But this was the second fire they had been in, that they had experienced in the last five years, so I kind of looked at that as kind of a tragedy.”

The fire occurred at the 1300 block of Helen Street, and according to the City of Lufkin, a 911 call was placed at 7:35 a.m.

James Modisette lives a few houses up the road from Freeman and said the Lufkin Fire Department “brought in the cavalry” to quickly deal with the fire. Modisette was out gardening when he first heard the commotion.

“I heard the lady, one of the ladies that lived there. and she was hollering for, I assumed she was hollering for her dog,” Modisette said. “I thought maybe her dog had got out, and then I looked and I could see smoke coming from back in behind the house.”

Freeman described the neighborhood as a good area with a group of people that looks out for one another. He did his best to live up to that model by taking in the family and comforting them.

“And out of this whole ordeal, I kept them over to the house all day yesterday to about 5 o’clock, you know what I mean, and I welcomed them in,” Freeman said. “I fed them, and I made sure they were comfortable. I was trying to keep their mind off of what had just happened because it was devastating because they have lost everything that they had.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

1300 block of Helen Street.
1300 block of Helen Street.(City of Lufkin)

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