A Dallas family escaped from their burning apartment, but their roommate never made it out of the building alive.
The fire started at Sage Creek Apartments on Rosemeade Parkway off the President George Bush Turnpike around 1 a.m. Thursday.
The fire was devastating for the family who lost their home as well as their friend in the fire.
Fire investigators say the victim lived with the husband, wife and their four-year-old son. The boy alerted his parents to the fire.
The husband quickly got his wife and child out onto the balcony through the window as the apartment filled with smoke and flames. He tells firefighters that he could see the back of the couch on fire. He called out to his 52-year-old roommate, who had been in the living room, but didn’t get an answer and couldn’t see him.
The husband scrambled on his hands and knees trying to find his roommate, but the fire was too intense and had to leave his friend behind and get out of the apartment.
By that time, the fire had blocked the family’s escape route down the stairs. They tied bedsheets together to get down to the first floor from their balcony.
Fire crews kicked down the locked door and found the victim dead on the couch.
“We obviously have a tragic situation. It’s very fortunate that the people who got out were able to get out. It’s a miracle they got out the way they did,” says Jason Evans with Dallas Fire Rescue.
Fire crews say the victim did have several medical issues and was on oxygen. Investigators say the oxygen could have contributed to the fire. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner is working to determine if the fire or a medical problem killed the man. Authorities are not releasing the man’s name until his family has been notified of his death.