SEGUIN, Texas – A Seguin couple said they are thankful to be alive and for the Thanksgiving holiday despite losing their home of 30 years in a fire that broke out overnight Thursday.
“We are just really blessed to be here,” said Ann Warfield, 86.
She said her and her husband, 89-year-old Bill Warfield, were closing out the night when the fire happened.
“He was already asleep,” Ann Warfield said of her husband. “So my little dog, who normally barks at everything, started barking as I was getting into bed around 12:30 a.m. or 1 o’clock. I just thought to myself, ‘What is he barking at?’”
That’s when she said she heard what sounded like a boom from the attic.
“Of course, my husband didn’t hear because he was sleep, but I decided to get up and see what was going on,” Ann Warfield said. “I grabbed my heavy coat, and I was in my pajamas, but when I was passing through the kitchen, I went to turn on the light and I noticed the switch was hot. Then I saw the fire and I started hearing several explosions going off in the garage.”
Because the power was off in the house, Ann Warfield could not call 911, so she ran outside for help from her neighbors.
“I yell back at Bill and told him there was a fire and to get the dogs out. I went to my neighbors and, you know, I don’t get around as well as I used to, so I finally managed to get to my neighbor’s home and I knocked and screamed and nobody answered,” Ann Warfield said.
Then her husband came outside.
“I tried around the house to see if someone was there, but nobody answered. So when we looked back at the home, all you could see was black smoke,” Bill Warfield said. “We couldn’t move or breathe.”
Bill Warfield said he then remembered their two little dogs.
“I did make one mistake and that was go back inside the home to see where the dogs were at and to try to get the keys to our vehicles so I could move them," he said.
Ann Warfield said it was at that moment that her husband became disoriented.
“I just started yelling at the top of my lungs for him to get out and for help, hoping someone would hear me. That is when a lady passing by stopped because she heard me,” she said.
Ann Warfield said the woman later realized that Bill Warfield was inside the home and signaled for the driver behind her to go inside to help.
“He ran inside, and I heard him hollering for me and I was hollering,” Bill Warfield said. “I had a little flashlight that I got from Walmart that I loved, and so I was flashing that. He almost got disoriented, and I tell you I was almost out before he got to me. He got me just in time and told me to come on. He saved my life.”
The lady who was outside with Ann Warfield continued to scream in the doorway so Bill Warfield and the other good Samaritan could find their way out.
“I later learned that my dogs had escaped out of the doggie door, so I was very happy about that,” Bill Warfield said.
The couple has been with their loved ones since the fire and will stay with family members until they figure out their next step.
“I am going to miss my pictures and my piano,” Ann Warfield said. “There were a lot of memories in that house, but these people just showed up like angels among us and I am so thankful.”
Bill Warfield added they are beyond thankful for their neighbors, family and friends who have all been so supportive of them.
“That is just stuff that can be replaced,” Bill Warfield said. “It could have ended a lot worse. That stuff is gone and there is no point in crying about it. We are alive and OK with family and with each other, and that is what I am truly grateful for.”
Fortunately, the family said they did have insurance and will soon learn form officials what caused the fire to ignite. In the meantime, Bill Warfield said he wants to remind everyone to make sure their smoke detectors work inside their homes, especially during the holiday season.