Victim identified in Orangefield fire

Orange county deputies have identified the man killed in a house fire in Orangefield as Charles Swift Sr.

ORANGEFIELD - NOTE: Previous versions of this story incorrectly stated that four people escaped the fire. 12News was given incorrect information. Only three people were in the home at the time of the fire.

Orange county deputies have identified the man killed in a house fire in Orangefield  as Charles Swift Sr.

According to the sheriff’s office the preliminary autopsy shows Swift died from smoke inhalation and possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

His son, Ben Swift was also inside the home at the time of the fire but escaped. Swift said he tried to save his father from the flames but it was too late.

"My dad was my best friend, I don't know what I’m going to do without him," said Swift.

Swift said he dropped off his two girls at school and was getting ready to rest at home when he heard a strange noise from outside his room.

When he looked, he realized the house was on fire. He managed to escape by jumping out of the bathroom window. His friend who was also home at the time managed to escape safely as well.

"I halfway got stuck and I felt the heat on my leg and got stuck and instantly got a ladder to my dad’s room," said Swift.

Swift’s father is 65-years-old and disabled with severe back problems. Swift tried to get him out of his home by knocking the air conditioner out of his window to get him out but he didn’t have any luck.

"His knee moves too slow plus there was no exit out,” said Swift. “The stairs were covered in flames and the other exit was covered in flames."

Firefighters from Bridge City, West Orange, Pinehurst, McLewis and Little Cypress responded to the fire in the 3600 block of Dronett Street which was reported just after 7 a.m.

All Swift has left is the shirt on his back and socks on his feet but everything else he owns is ruined.

"Everything is destroyed, I have nothing the vehicles were so close to the house they burnt," said Swift.

However, he is glad he is alive and that his two little girls were at school during the fire.

He said what gives him comfort is knowing his father is reunited with his mother who passed away a month ago from cancer.

"He said he missed mom last night, he will get to see her I guess," said Swift. “I think she was calling for him.”

Red Cross is helping the family and Swift said he will be staying with his friend.

Firefighters believe the fire started in the attic of the home but they do not know what caused the fire.

Earlier, firefighters were forced to closed down Highway 105 in front of Orangefield High School to run fire hose across the road to the nearest hydrant causing traffic problems as students were arriving at all Orangefield schools 

The home was declared a total loss.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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