House fire claims woman's life in SW Houston

December 7, 2011 10:27:20 AM PST
Officials say it was a dramatic scene as they raced to save the victim, while her boyfriend stood in the front yard, yelling in horror

Crews got the call about the fire at a home on Jarvis at Richmond around 2am. Fire officials say it was a dramatic scene as they raced to drag the victim out of the house while her boyfriend stood in the front yard, yelling in horror.

"He was pulling on the burglar bars and he said, 'Help me. Help me,'" said neighbor Arlelia Thymes-Armstrong.

She says she woke up to all the commotion. At the time, she says she didn't know it was her neighbor yelling that his house was on fire with his girlfriend inside.

"Yes it was frightening because if my burglar gate, he would have pushed his way in, but he had underwear, shorts and he was screaming," said Thymes-Armstrong.

Firefighters tell Eyewitness News the woman, believed to be in her mid 40s, was in the area of the front bedroom unconscious in a recliner and was surrounded by smoke and flames.

Firefighters say they were forced to pull out an air conditioning window unit, go in, grab the woman, drag her out and then start doing CPR.

"I saw them when they carried her away," said Thymes-Armstrong.

Firefighters say the woman was taken to the hospital with minor burns and smoke inhalation but she later died.

Neighbors, relieved the male homeowner's children weren't inside the house, say there's still a sense of sadness on this corner knowing their neighbor tragically lost his companion.

According to fire officials, the fire is believed to have started on or near a bed in that front bedroom. Arson detectives are looking into the cause of the fire. They have ruled out a space heater as the cause.