Man rescued from burning home in 3rd Ward

March 2, 2012 10:22:52 AM PST
A Houston man is left with almost nothing after a fire destroyed the place he calls home. But it was the quick action of his neighbors that kept this fire from becoming an even bigger tragedy.

That homeowner says it may have been a candle he was using to light his home that wound up causing the fire that destroyed it. But the good news is he is safe -- thanks to the people who rescued him.

It's hard for Tommy Harris, 56, to look at the Third Ward home he has owned for years, now destroyed by a fire.

"Somebody that stays with me, I heard them holler and they said it was a fire," Harris said.

Harris says he and a friend were in a back bedroom sleeping when he says a candle, used to light his home since it was left without electricity, sparked those flames.

He said, "We tried to put it out."

A neighbor said, "The girl came to my house, knocked on the door talking about 'get some water.' You can't put no water on that."

Neighbors say by that time flames had consumed the house. Harris, who has suffered a few strokes, was able to get himself in his wheelchair but his live-in companion was struggling to get him out of the burning houses. That's when his neighbor ran inside.

He said, "I pushed him in his wheelchair."

Harris says he's grateful to his neighbor for helping to save his life. Now he's hoping to get over the shock.

"I just spent the last money I had and got some furniture," Harris said.

The Red Cross is helping out. Harris plans to stay with family in the meantime. Although Harris says the fire was caused by a candle, the official cause of the fire has not been determined.