Haltom City man says dog saved him from fast-moving fire

- Investigators are trying to figure out if a Haltom City house fire was caused by a natural gas explosion.

It happened around 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the 2700 block of Kinman Street. Neighbors described seeing a wall of flames as one man was carried out of the home by rescuers.

David Johnson was treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation, but has since been released. He said he was asleep when the fire started and said his dog, Lucy, woke him up.

“And I got my wheelchair and came around into the kitchen and the flames were just already hitting me right in the face and I just feel back in the wheelchair and crawled out the back door. I crawled around here and that’s when… by the time I got to the front yard I mean the whole house was just fully involved by then,” he said.

Johnson’s wife was not home at the time because she had gone to pick up their granddaughter, who lives with them.

The homes in the area are close together so firefighters were worried that the fire would spread.

“All the surrounding houses on both sides were evacuated and you can see there was damage to both houses from the extreme heat,” said Haltom City Fire Chief Steve Ross.

Stan McGehee, who lives next door, said he did what he could to protect his home.

“Embers were flying up in the air and landing on our roof and the neighbors’ roof and in our trees. I was watering the rooftop until they made us leave,” he said. “There was lots of loud popping. There was some scare that there was gas on the property so there was some scare that there might be an explosion, so they made everyone leave.”

Firefighters were able to save the neighboring homes, but the Johnsons’ home was completely destroyed. Lucy is staying with a neighbor while they sort things out.

A crew from the gas company is investigating reports of a possible gas leak. The fire chief said it is not yet clear if that's what caused the fire.

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