HUBBARD, Texas (KWTX) A Central Texas man who lost his mobile home in a fire said he's thankful for the quick thinking of a police officer.
Sammie Burgess, 82, said he awoke to smoke and flames in his mobile home located on 704 SW 3rd Street just after 4 a.m. on May 11.
"And I kept wondering why is it so red in here. I was trying to get out the door and it looked like the door wasn't going to open. I just snatched the rug up off the floor," he said.
Sammie said somehow he escaped and later ran across his yard looking for help.
Hubbard police Officer Theodore Monthey was the first emergency personnel to respond to the call.
He said when he saw Sammie outside, the elderly man looked confused standing near his burning home.
Sammie even tried to go back inside his home.
"I got him to his feet and attempted to try and walk him to the road and I said this is a slower process. We might as well do something different, so I just picked him up and carried him across where my car was and down the road where I knew he would be safe," Monthey said.
Sammie who lived in his home for more than 25 years said he lost everything except the clothes he was wearing.
"I never been in nothing like that in my life and I don't want to go through that no more. That was the Lord's doing because 4 o'clock in the morning I was supposed to be sleep," he said.
The next day, officer Monthey donated a pair of sneakers and clothes for Sammie.
"I'm not here for any recognition for myself. The main thing I want is to get the news out that Mr. Burgess does need help especially with his age and his health condition he needs help," he said.
"I'm a diabetic and can't walk good. Done have three toes took off my feet. I just go to town and back to my house and sit on the porch on my scooter. That's all I do," he said.
Sammie lost his motorized wheelchair in the blaze.
He said his ultimate wish would be to live independently again in a mobilized home with his wheelchair, but he's thankful to be alive.
He said not all police officers are bad people.
"People give them such a hard time and he's real good of course that man. He came to my aid and held me and nobody else looked like they was going to come but him. He's the best. I'll give him credit, anywhere he need it, anywhere. I'd speak up for that man," he said.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
An account has been set up for Sammie under the name Katie Simmons, his sister, at the Citizens State Bank in Hubbard.
The phone number is (254) 576-1333.
Those wishing to donate may also contact his sister, Katie Simmons at (254) 205-7251.
His pants size is 32/31, medium-size men shirts and size 11 in men's shoes.