A Rusk County man has been hospitalized due to burns after an early Tuesday morning fire tore through his home.
Crews from the Kilgore, Overton and New London fire departments responded to the fire just after 3:45 a.m. The house is located on Highway 42 in Laird Hill, just north of Farm to Market 2012.
Crews were able to get the fire under control by 5 a.m. Just one wall of the three bedroom, wood-frame home is still standing. The rest of the home was burned to the ground.
Phillip Williams, 42, was transported by ambulance to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview. From there, he was transported by ambulance to Parkland Burn Center in Dallas, where he remains in critical condition. Friends on the scene added that Williams lived alone, along with his two dogs and two cats.
"He cares about everybody and he's loving, helps you out when you need help," Gayle Hutto, the victim's cousin, said.
This isn't the first time tragedy struck the Williams house. In 2010 William's daughter, Suzanne, was killed in a car accident directly in front of the now burned home. She was pregnant at the time and that baby did survive.
Family also said Williams was trying to put out the fire when he was burned. They also tell us fire officials told them one of the cats knocked a space heater over likely causing the fire, but several calls to fire officials went unanswered.
"Hopefully he's going to be okay and I just want everyone to come together and help our friend," Gelana Ingle, the victim's best friend, said.
Donations can be made to the Citizens Bank in Kilgore on Main Street.
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