One dead in Bonham apartment fire - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

One dead in Bonham apartment fire

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BONHAM -- One man is dead following an early morning fire.

It happened at a low-income apartment complex in Bonham.

Bonham police say there is no reason to believe this fire was intentionally set. In fact, they say it was accidental.

Now one man is dead and three other tenants have to find another place to stay.

An empty microwave meal in the front yard, an armchair and oxygen tanks paint the picture of how Steven Ray Tramel lived inside his home at Uptown Apartments in Bonham.

"He didn't get out much," neighbor Kathey Huber said.

It was Tramel's apartment that caught fire at about 4:15 Tuesday morning.

Neighbors say they were sound asleep when firefighters came to the door.

"Bam bam bam! They said, 'Fire fire fire,' and I didn't hear the fire part so I thought I was getting robbed or something so I run out the front door and I see these blue flashing lights and I was like okay," neighbor Alex Green said.

Bonham police say a lit cigarette sparked the fire. They say Tramel was smoking next to oxygen tanks in his living room.

"He was reported as being a heavy smoker. He was on oxygen. We do have a witness that saw one oxygen bottle on fire as it was bouncing off the walls," Bonham police chief Mike Bankston said.

Inside the apartment, you can now see daylight through the ceiling. Metal coils and wood frames are all that's left of the furniture.

Police say three other units in the quad-plex also have extensive smoke damage.

"It was heavy, it was heavy on each end. I was going, 'Oh my goodness.' It was heavy on each end that smoke," Huber said.

A tricycle outside the apartment next-door shows how close the blaze could have come to cutting even more lives short.

Neighbors say they're shaken up but grateful another person's bad decision didn't cause them much harm.

"He's smoking with oxygen tanks. So them things are dangerous to smoke around and if you don't listen, you see what happens."

The Red Cross is helping families displaced by the fire.