LUBBOCK, Texas — On Sunday, May 10, Justin Wood, a Lubbock police officer, was on his way home around noon. He had just completed his morning shift and was on his way home to spend his lunch with his family.
As he neared closer, he said he noticed something startling.
“Kind of dark smoke coming out from the vents from the roof,” Wood said.
Noticing a handyman in the front yard of the burning home, Wood said he approached the man and asked him what happened.
“He said he called [Lubbock] Fire, he didn’t know anything other,” Wood said.
Wood said he is close with his neighbors, and asked where the homeowner, Redelia, was, before rushing into the home.
“I was able to locate her pretty quickly in her living room and she had no idea what was going on,” Wood said. “Seemed a little startled.”
Wood said Redelia often has visitors, so he checked the home for others as well, but noticed more smoke filling the home.
“It was starting to seep down through the cracks in the walls and the edges of the rooms but they were starting to to be less visible and at that point I went back and grabbed Ms Delia and you could see it starting to enter the living room,” Wood said.
He said he was able to escort her outside. Both of them were able to escape unharmed.
“I grabbed miss Delia up and we started working our way out,” Wood said. “She’s elderly so as we were making our way out Lubbock Fire Rescue showed up.”
Escaping the home just in time, as the fire began to engulf the entire roof. Wood said he began to see smoke fill the neighborhood as well.
“She was pretty startled,” Wood said. “Pretty upset, she was crying but she was a trooper.”
But Officer Wood didn’t stop there. He helped Redelia reach her family, and stayed on scene to help Lubbock Fire Rescue block the road while firefighters battled the blaze.
“You hear Lubbock Fire and Rescue coming quick so there’s not a lot of room for fear when you got Lubbock’s best coming,” Wood said.
Although Wood is a police officer, he said he feels he did as any other person in his position would do.
“If you have a friend or loved one in a tight spot you wanna go help them out, so you don’t really think about it. You just do it,” Wood said.
Wood said he has been in contact with Ms. Redelia. She has been staying with friends in the meantime, however, her home will not be inhabitable for another six months.