SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -Video linkÂ Â Â Â By Lane Luckie
Several donation funds have been set up for an East Texas firefighter critically injured during an early morning fire on Friday.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Firefighter Joe Yeakley. Photo Source: Lindale Fire Department.
Around 12:45 a.m., fire crews were called to a reported structure fire at 15922 Childress Drive in the Lindale area.
About 40 minutes after arriving on scene, Lindale firefighter, Joe Yeakley became trapped as the home collapsed around him. Yeakley, a 14 year veteran with the Lindale Fire Department and nearly 30 years in the fire service was flown to Parkland Hospital in Dallas with burns to his face and hands. At last check he was in critical condition, according to the Lindale Fire Department.
The Lindale Fire Department announced Friday afternoon that they are currently taking donations of snacks and money to take to the Yeakley family during their extended stay in the Dallas area while Joe recovers. Donations can be taken to Lindale’s central fire station at 208 East Hubbard Street. Monetary donations can be made in the family’s name at Texas Bank and Trust locations.
Three other firefighters, one from Lindale and two from Dixie, were able to escape the collapse.
Dixie firefighter Caleb Snider also received minor burns on his arms during the incident. He was treated for his injuries at a Tyler hospital and has since been released. Snider has just over one year of experience with the department.
Information on the other firefighters’ injuries was not immediately available.
The homeowner was inside the house at the time of the fire and escaped unharmed. The 3,000 square foot home is said to be a total loss.
First responders said the homeowner, who was watching a movie at the time, did not have a phone to call for help, so he ran to a neighbor’s house. This home caught fire once before, according to Matt York, Dixie Fire Chief.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
Crews from Lindale, Dixie, Red Springs, and Noonday fire departments all responded.
The fire and collapse are under investigation.