Connect with Ashley Claster on Facebook and Twitter
An early morning wake-up call for residents in East Lubbock left one of their neighbors without a home. We are told an elderly couple, along with their son, managed to escape their flaming home near Parkway and Zenith. One was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
"I looked outside, and there was smoke everywhere. I was like, oh my God! He said, 'they're okay! They're okay! They got out of the house.' So thank God for that," neighbor Valerie Simmons said.
"It was about 12:30, after midnight, when I just smelled the smoke," a next-door neighbor said.
"As a matter of fact, I was sound asleep," Simmons said. "Then my husband woke me up saying, 'sweetheart, get up, get up! Mrs. Perry's house is on fire!'"
Valerie Simmons lives right next to the Perry's. She said they have a son named Sydney, and all three were able to escape the flames.
"The husband was walking really slow," Simmons said. "My husband says Sydney was trying to go back in the house. He was telling him, 'No! No! Don't go back in the house! Don't go back in the house!'"
She said Mrs. Perry recently got out of the hospital with hip problems.
"That was my first thought," Simmons said. "I was just like, 'did they get out?'. And he goes, 'they're okay.' And then I finally saw her. And I was like, yes!"
It took 30-minutes for Lubbock Fire Rescue to extinguish the massive flames that caused damage to more than half of the house.
"I know he was a retired teacher. She was retired also. They lived there as long as I can remember," a neighbor said.
"She's a real church-going person. She is a retired school teacher. She normally just stays at home, and takes care of her husband. I think he has Alzheimer's," Simmons said.
Simmons said Mrs. Perry recently had a new roof installed, and just went out and bought brand new furniture.
"I know they have another house down the street. I don't know if possibly they may be living there," a neighbor said.
Simmons hopes the Lubbock community can help the family that she has called neighbors for years get back on their feet.
"I know she taught for a long time. Sydney went to Estacado. One thing I can say about Lubbock, it is a city that believes in coming together when there's a tragedy," Simmons said.
The Red Cross is providing assistance to the Perry's. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.