Fire destroys home in Simms

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Couple sent to Plano Burn Center with serious injuries

 

By Heather Russell

Staff Reporter

 

At 5:58 a.m. this morning, Wednesday, May 10, 2017,  emergency personnel with Simms VFD, New Boston VFD, Bowie County Sheriff’s Office, and Bowie County Fire Marshals responded to an explosion and structure fire on FM 561 in Simms, near the intersection of FM 561 and FM 990.  Neighbors reported hearing an explosion, then seeing the home of Sue and Jules Martinez of Simms engulfed in flames. 

Sue Martinez, 61, was inside the home at the time of the explosion, according to Bowie County Deputy Fire Marshal Scottie Taylor.  Mrs. Martinez was able to exit the house through the front door.  She was flown to the Plano Burn Center where she is being treated for second and third degree burns to forty percent of her body, and a head injury sustained when she fell as she exited the house.  Her husband, Jules Martinez, 78, was sitting in a 2006 Chevrolet truck parked outside the home at the time of the incident.  He sustained first and second degree burns to his face and arm and was transported by ground, also to the Plano Burn Center.  No further information on their condition is available at this time.

FM 561 remains closed from FM 990 to County Road 4209 while investigators sort through the remains of the home and a debris field measuring as far as one hundred feet.  “The preliminary cause of the explosion is believed to be propane,” said Taylor.  “We are now waiting on the Texas Railroad Commission in Nacogdoches to conduct their investigation, as is standard in incidents where propane is the suspected cause.”

The home and all contents were a total loss, and there has been an account set up for the Martinez family at Farmers Bank and Trust to help with expenses.

 

Martinez Fund Account

C/O Melissa Granberry

Account # 64023799

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