*Officials initially said the victim was 33-years-old. The story has been updated to reflect the correction of the age to 35.
SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) — A 35-year-old man, who had special needs, died in a house fire Wednesday night in Smith County, said Smith County Fire Marshal Jay Brooks.
The victim of the fire was identified as Jack McKenzie Ross.
“Everybody I talked to said he was just as sweet and nice and caring a person as you can ever want to met any loss of life is tragic but this family is very, very distraught,” said Brooks.
The fire started around 8 p.m. at 11379 County Road 1113. First responders were dispatched to area for a structure fire where a man was trapped inside.
Officials said first responders removed Ross from the fire and tried to resuscitate him, but he passed away after the efforts were unsuccessful. According to a release, the victim’s brother was able to escape the house on his own.
“My heart was broken, because of the fact that her house was burning down and the fact that her son might have still been there,” said Diane Scott, neighbor.
Scott said that she called to give her condolences and offered prayer and support to the family.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Ross,” Brooks said. “This is a tragic event, which has left a huge hole in his family.”
A firefighter, Cameron Franks, 26, was taken to the hospital after he was injured by a powerline that was supplying electricity to the house fell and landed on his shoulder. He was taken to a local hospital and kept overnight before being released. No one else was injured in the fire.
The Smith County, Noonday, Flint and Dixie Fire Departments assisted with the fire.
Officials are asking the community to pray for the family affected by this tragic fire.
“We are thankful that Firefighter Franks has recovered,” Brooks said. “This goes to show the risks that firefighters face each and every day.”
The cause of the fire has still not been determined. The Smith County Fire Marshal’s Office thanked the Smith County Sheriff’s Office and the Tyler Police Department and for their assistance at the scene.