Man flees burning Yoakum home (w/video)
March 8, 2014 at 4:03 p.m.
Updated March 8, 2014 at 9:09 p.m.
YOAKUM - Weston Pavlicek was awakened from a nap Saturday by a popping sound.
He thought it was glass breaking, but when he looked around, he saw fire in the back kitchen area and realized his parents' house was on fire.
Pavlicek, 24, of Hallettsville, called 911 and grabbed his dog, a boxer, and his parents' four or five shih tzus from the backyard and got himself and the dogs to safety.
He wasn't the first to see or report the fire in the 100 block of Trinity Street. The fire was reported at 1:33 p.m.
Two streets away, an off-duty firefighter was doing yard work for a friend and heard popping sounds.
"When I heard the noise, I stopped and went out onto the street and looked around; I did not see anything. Then, I heard it again and looked and saw the smoke coming from the house," said firefighter James Herchek. "I dropped my trimmer and jumped the fence, got in my truck and came up here."
Passing motorists reported seeing smoke from about a mile out of town on state Highway 111. As they passed the neighborhood, they saw the fire and stopped to help.
Lori Rogers, of Kennewick, Wash., said her husband, Doug, helped get the dogs from the backyard and to a neighbor's house for safety.
"I saw a curl of smoke coming from the edge of the roof when we pulled up," she said.
She watched as firefighters pulled a truck and Jeep away from the house to keep them from burning.
A third vehicle was still in the garage.
Minutes later, when Yoakum firefighters arrived, the fire was in the attic, and the house was fully engulfed in flames. At 3:30 p.m., Fire Chief Mark Herchek said it was too early to know what caused the fire because the firefighters were still putting out hot spots.
Pavlicek said he and his wife spent the night at the house Friday because his parents, Robert and Sherry Pavlicek, were out of town for the weekend.
After learning about the fire, his parents returned to Yoakum.
His parents had lived in the brick house for about 25 years. They had a new roof installed this past week, he said.