Timpson fire chief gets family, pets out before fire destroys his home

SHELBY COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) – On Sunday, the chief of the Timpson Volunteer Fire Department managed to save his wife, children, and pets from the fire that destroyed his home.

Jesus Acosta, who was voted in as chief of the Timpson VFD back in March, said he was on standby at the fire station due to bad weather early Sunday morning. He got back to his home on State Highway 87 North at about 1:50 am Sunday.

Acosta said as soon as he entered the home, he saw a “black haze” on the ceiling, and he could see a glow coming from upstairs.

At that point, Acosta rushed upstairs. He added that he saw the flames climb up the wall of the TV room.

Acosta said his wife, son, and daughter were “sound asleep when the fire started.” He woke everyone up and got them and their two dogs outside, adding that it was just in time. As soon as they got into their vehicle, the fire “back drafted,” and a large fireball whooshed out the front door, Acosta said.

Eleven minutes later, crews from the Timpson VFD arrived at the scene.

“It was fully involved when they got there,” Acosta said.

Acosta said he tried to help fight the fire, but he couldn’t get close to his house because he didn’t have his fire gear with him. He explained that he backed off to be with his family as soon as the crews from other area fire departments arrived at the scene.

Firefighters from the Center and Tenaha fire departments helped battle the fire as well, Acosta said.

Once the firefighters had extinguished the fire, Acosta helped them roll up the hoses.

The Timpson fire chief said they try to help people save their homes all the time, and he was in a state of shock for a while after the fire.

Acosta said his home was a total loss.

“It’s on the ground,” Acosta said. “There’s just about nothing left.”

The Timpson fire chief said that he is grateful that his family and pets are alive and safe. Acosta said he didn’t want to think about what might have happened if he had gotten home later than he did.

Acosta said they were unsure about their two cats after the fire, but they found them outside later in the day.

“Everyone has been really, really good to us,” Acosta said. “All the outreach, all the prayers – it has been overwhelming.”

Acosta said the Sabine State Bank, his bank, set up an account where people can donate toward helping his family. A Go Fund Me account has been set up as well, he said.

According to Acosta, their insurance provider is paying for them to stay in a hotel until they get a travel trailer set up on their property.

Acosta said they still don’t know what caused the fire. He said it started in an upstairs bedroom of his home.

“Luckily, my daughter wasn’t sleeping in her bedroom when the fire started,” Acosta stated.

To contact the Sabine State Bank about donating, call (936) 598-8995. Click this link to go to the Go Fund Me account.

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