Fire at vacant home spreads to neighboring home

Published: Apr. 28, 2013 at 3:27 PM CDT|Updated: May. 29, 2013 at 3:54 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - An overnight fire at a vacant home on Monroe Street spread to a neighboring home.

Lake Charles firefighters got the call around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Neighbor Jasmine Patterson told KPLC the fire started in a vacant home and quickly jumped over to the next home. Patterson and her grandmother called 911.

According to Patterson, three people were asleep in the neighboring home, including a disabled woman. All three were able to make it safely out the back of the home.

"I woke up and heard a loud boom. I thought it was thunder, but then I heard it again. And I looked out the blinds and I saw this orange light coming through under the car port and I knew that I only had minutes to try to get my family out of the house," said Pastor Donald Mackey.

As the flames got bigger and smoke got thicker, Mackey rushed to get his family out.

"I knew I only had minutes. We escaped out the back of the home and across the street and from that point, just watched our home slowly, slowly be consumed by fire. And it looked like there just wasn't enough water to take care of it," said Mackey. "It was almost like a dream. But I knew it wasn't a dream because I could feel that heat and smell that smoke and it was just unreal. It was just like it wasn't real, but I knew it was real because I could feel it."

Mackey added, "I credit my family's safety to the Lord above. He woke me up in time and enabled me to get my family out of the house safely. That was my main concern at that time and I believe it was him, the Lord, who woke me up," said Mackey.

It's still not clear how the fire started. Patterson said the home had only been vacant for about three weeks. A "For Sale" sign could be seen in the front yard.

KPLC is told the American Red Cross was on the scene to provide assistance.

Meanwhile, the family is in the process of setting up an account to help them get back on their feet. If you would like help, donations are being accepted at any Chase bank location. Just ask for the "Pastor Donald Mackey Fund."

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