A neighborhood in Midland is still in shock after a fire not only destroyed a home, but killed one person inside. The man who died is 44 year old Rubiel Mendosa. Friends called him Rubio. The neighbor across the street who called 9-11, is a teenage girl who told us she's known Rubio for about four years now. She knew him as good person that cared for her family.
"He was really friendly person, he was real loving. He wouldn't hold grudges at all," says the Teen.
The teenager across the street woke up to the smell of heavy smoke. When she looked out her window, all she saw were bright orange flames.
"I went and picked up my mom, I told my mom Rubio's house was on fire and we came outside and I was calling 911," says the Teen.
At first, it looked like no one was inside the house, but seconds later the teen watched someone break free from the flames. The neighbors told us they believe the second person inside the house was a man named mark, nicknamed ‘Santa Clause’ and he escaped by jumping through a bedroom window on this side of the house. Unfortunately, Mendosa could not be saved because the fire spread too quickly.
"The interior of the house, the walls did not have any dry wall on them it was just bare studs, so we know that escalated the fire through the house also," explains David Hickman with the Midland Fire Department.
"The windows started breaking and all you could hear was when the wood would start to break and it would fall," says the Teen.
Wind was also a huge factor. The fire managed to spread to the neighbor’s house next door, causing some damage, mostly exterior burns. Right now, there is no cause for this fire.
"We were able to confirm that the only utilities that the house had was electricity and we're following up on that also," says Hickman.
Again no cause of the fire, investigators are looking at all angles from accidental to even arson. Mendosa's body was sent to Tarrant County for an autopsy. We'll keep you updated on those results.