BRYAN, Texas — Bryan firefighters have positively identified the victim of Wednesday night’s Pierce Street housefire as 70-year-old John Green, whom they believe passed away due to smoke inhalation.
The initial investigation has led fire marshals to believe that the fire started in Green’s kitchen, though his body was not found in his kitchen.
“If you have smoke start to move into the house, say in the kitchen, for example, moving into the living room and hallway..." said Gerald Burnett, assistant fire marshal for the Bryan Fire Department. "[There] it can start to threaten people and indicate there may be a fire through the house. The way we’re going to know is through a smoke alarm.”
Green was the sole occupant of his home, and no smoke alarms were found in his residence.
According to the fire department, neighbors had initially smelled smoke in the area but didn’t call firefighters until an hour-and-a-half later, when flames were visible.
“The answer always is, if you’re in doubt, call us," Burnett said. "We are okay with people calling us if they’re not sure what they’re seeing. But I will tell you, if it’s the early stages of fire and there’s just a little bit of smoke in the air, we might miss it too.”
Burnett said that if a caller reports the smell of smoke in the area, firefighters will try to investigate the source. He noted that the smoke the neighbors had initially smelled could have been something separate from the house fire.
If any Bryan resident needs help installing or replacing the batteries on a smoke alarm, the Bryan Fire Department has partnered with the American Red Cross and can call the department's non-emergency line, 979-209-5960.