Somerset man loses home to early morning fire

Space heater ignited the fire, fire officials say

Fire rips through and destroys a Somerset home.
Fire rips through and destroys a Somerset home.

SOMERSET, Texas – Fire officials say it appears a short in a space heater caused a massive fire that destroyed a Somerset home.

The fire started just before 3 a.m. Sunday at a home in the 8000 block of Dixon Road. The house is a total loss.

Delbert Eichman, 72, said he was sitting at the kitchen table when smelled smoke.

"I went to see what it was," Eichman said. "And, I thought my little dog was turning something over in there, but he was in the middle of the fire and he's blind, so, I got him and got out."

Eichman made it out with his two dogs, but his nearly 80-year-old house burned to the ground.

"I've been here a long time," he said. "I raised all my boys here, both of them."

Eichman's neighbors spent the afternoon helping him rummage through the debris in an effort to salvage his family pictures. They also started gathering the scrap metal together in order to sell it and give Eichman the money.

"He lost his car keys," said Melanie Watts, one of his neighbors. "We're digging around for those. We've all been working really hard out here. "It's a lot of work. It's really sad."

Although Eichman said he will miss his house, he is grateful that so many people stepped up to help.

"They show up when you least expect them too and they are all here to help," he said.

Neighbors have provided Eichman with a trailer to stay in and they are also planning a barbecue plate fundraiser and a yard sale that would benefit him. The fundraisers are scheduled for Nov. 8-11 in Somerset.

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