Adam D. Young
A fundraiser has been created to help family cover the funeral costs for a man who died while trying to save his dog from a burning house earlier this week in central Lubbock.
Lincoln Flores Jr.’s family says he actually saved three people from his burning house Monday, but when he heard his dog still inside, he ran back in to save him but unfortunately wasn’t able to make it back out, according to a statement they released on a GoFundMe page.
His sister, Betty Flores, started the fundraiser, calling her brother a hero for his actions on Monday.
“There are many people that love their pets and would do anything to protect them,” she said. “I’m sure many people would have done the same as my brother, the hero.”
She said his family did not have insurance, and the fundraiser seeks $4,000 to help with burial and memorial expenses.
Flores was 51 at the time of his death. An obituary describes him as a joyful and humble man who was the father of two daughters, a motorcycle enthusiast and a passionate fan of the Dallas Cowboys.
Lubbock Fire Rescue officials confirmed one person and the dog he attempted to rescue from a burning home were found dead in the structure early Monday morning in central Lubbock.
Lubbock Fire Rescue crews responded to call of a structure fire, reported by a neighbor calling 911, about 1:27 a.m. Monday in the 2300 block of 47th Street, according to a statement from LFR.
Fire crews arrived on scene to find a single-story house well involved in fire with a vehicle on fire outside as well. The house next door was also beginning to ignite, however, firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the exterior fascia, according to LFR.
Three people occupied the home where the fire originated and were able to escape. However, crews were told one of the residents reentered the home to look for a dog. The resident, later identified as Flores, was unable to escape after reentry. When firefighters arrived on the scene, the house was too involved to make entry for search and rescue, according to the LFR statement.
Once firefighters had extinguished the fire enough to enter the home to search, they found the resident and the dog next to each other. Both were dead.
The other two residents who remained outside suffered smoke inhalation injuries while trying to escape and were taken by EMS to a Lubbock hospital.
Fire marshals have classified the cause as undetermined, but are still investigating. The house was deemed a total loss.
Lubbock Fire Rescue officials on Monday urged citizens to never enter a burning structure to look for belongings or pets.
“Heated smoke will quickly overtake your ability to function,” reads the LFR statement. “Smoke-filled structures become very dark making it difficult to find your way out. Wait for firefighters as they are trained to quickly search buildings in zero visibility.
LFR officials did say that it is possible this fire was due to auxiliary/creative heating. Open flame heaters inside a home can easily ignite nearby combustibles. Only approved heaters made to be used indoors should be used.
This home did not have any working smoke detectors, and LFR urged residents and homeowners to make sure their homes have working smoke detectors.