Fire crews responded to a house fire on Stratton, near McArdle, Sunday morning. An elderly couple lived there, but only the husband made it out. His wife was trapped inside.
People who knew the pair are still coming to terms with the tragic loss.
The smell of smoke trickled into their neighbor Jerry Lanier's home. That was how he knew something was wrong.
"Our AC was picking up smoke and bringing it inside our house," Lanier said.
When he looked outside, he saw flames flickering from a house two doors down. An elderly woman was trapped inside. Lanier knew her as Mrs. King.
"She was a real nice lady," Lanier said. "Everybody talks about her in the neighborhood, but she's been bed ridden for a long time."
Henry Pardo said he has lived next door to the Kings for nearly a decade.
"The flames were way high," Pardo said. "Very high."
Before firefighters arrived, Pardo tried to stop the flames from spreading.
"I went to the back of the house, watering my fence, my house and their house too," he said.
Once on the scene, firefighters ferociously attacked the blaze, but it was too late.
"The husband was able to get out unaware of his wife, really concerned about her," said Battalion Chief David Saenz of the Corpus Christi Fire Department. "We found her where she was going to be, in the back bedroom."
The husband was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, but he now has to carry on without a home and without his wife.
Officials said a space heater may have sparked the fire, but the investigation is far from over.
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