Perry man dies in house fire | News
"Firefighters, ambulances, I saw police cars and I saw a bunch of people in my yard. I didn't know what was going on until I saw flames coming from the house. All I could see was the garage, just lit up...just lit up," said Scooter Smith, who lives on Anna's Way in Perry.
Neighbors on Anna's Way in Perry say they were stunned to see this home in flames around 10:15 p.m. Saturday. They were also saddened to hear someone was left inside.
"And I told them 'Hey y'all need to get fire department out here. Y'all need to send more than one fire truck because these houses are so close together,'" Bobby Brown.
"All I could see was people crying and praying, hoping that everything would be okay," Smith said.
55-year-old Kenneth Lumpkin died in that fire. Family and friends of the former Robins Air Force Base worker were on the scene Sunday to remember the man some called a father figure.
"When I couldn't contact my father or contact my friends he was always there for me. He was kind-hearted, giving and he was a father figure to everyone that he knew," Smith said.
Houston County Fire Chief Jimmy Williams says the fire was caused by a faulty heating unit caused the fire. He says it was unclear whether it was a space heater or one that attached to the wall.
Lumpkin's immediate neighbors say they tried unsuccessfully to get into the home.
Because of the heat and smoke they were only able to get as far as this driveway. The home was quickly engulfed in flames, and one neighbor says there was no way he could get inside to save Lumpkin.
"It's hard. Don't know the person, but it's hard. You know it's just hard knowing that someone passed away that maybe you could have done something for 'em, but unable to,"
They're the thoughts that linger in the minds of Lumpkin's neighbors, family, and friends.