An 88-year-old man hospitalized after fire gutted his Garland house returned home with his family to search through what is left.
Bill Johnson was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas Wednesday evening after huge flames ripped through his home in the 2800 block of South Glenbrook Drive.
Tthe heat of the fire singed some of his hair and beard. He was released just hours later.
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Johnson’s family has rallied around him, and Thursday helped find family photos and other items salvaged from the fire.
The Garland fire marshal also searched the home for the one thing Johnson said mattered most.
“My wife’s ashes,” Johnson said. “We’d made a pact that whenever I join her they were going to mix our ashes together and then put them in certain places, so I was distraught when we couldn’t find them.”
His wife’s ashes were recovered Thursday.
Johnson says he spent 60 years with his wife, who passed away two and half years ago.
Wednesday night Johnson fought to save his home and the lifetime of memories inside.
He tells NBC 5 he heard a noise and discovered the flames. He grabbed a fire extinguisher to try to put them out, but they spread too quickly.
“I couldn’t see, it was full of smoke and hot, and I was scared,” Johnson said.
Now, Johnson is focused on what’s next.
“I’m going to try to get my head together,” he said. “Let me tell you something, the most traumatic thing that you’ll ever experience in my view is having something happen like this and you don’t have any way or anywhere to go back to.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.