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Neighbors mourn after being unable to save bedridden elderly man from apartment fire

Posted at 6:48 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 01:15:29-04

BRYAN, TX — Bryan Fire Department responded to a structure fire late Sunday night. Neighbors in nearby apartment complexes put themselves in danger to help save a life.

A fire ignited in Bryan taking the life of an elderly man who was bedridden.

Linda White was enjoying some late-night television when her roommate of three years, Charles Melvin Earl Moten, yelled for help from the bedroom.

”I heard him calling and then there’s nothing I can do to get him out and when I started to call my neighbor and see if he can help me get him out. He tried, he got on the floor to crawl, but he said there was too much smoke,” Linda White, Bryan fire victim.

The fire ignited late Sunday night in the 2700 block of Evergreen Circle. Bryan Fire Department was at the scene this afternoon to continue their investigation. They have not confirmed what started the fire but Linda White believes it could have started from a cigarette.

“It never moved it just stayed in the bedroom there was just a lot of smoke in the other room,” said White.

White shared the fire remained isolated in the bedroom and was thankful to come out without any wounds or burns from the fire as she attempted to save Moten.

Neighbors generally hang outside in this neighborhood, so when one neighbor witnessed the cry for help, he immediately jumped into action.

”I was just sitting down outside and I see smoke coming outside of the apartment, I see her yelling upstairs for some help so I ran over there,” Jorge Aguina, the victim's neighbor.

At this time the bedroom was covered in black smoke making it difficult to breathe. White, along with her neighbors, were sad there was nothing they could do to help him escape.

“We went in there, but by the time we went in there, we were trying to get him out, but it was too late,” said Aguina.

Motten just turned 68-years old earlier this month and celebrated his birthday with friends and family this past weekend.

“That was sad, it was really tragic, I was watching them out the window the day before. They had a birthday party and they were playing music and everything,” said Claudolyn Mccarty, the victim's neighbor.

The Red Cross has provided White with some financial assistance to get her back on her feet. Her landlord is also in the process of providing her a new unit to move into.

Linda is saddened by the loss, but thankful for her neighbors that tried to help save Moten's life.