HOUSTON — Neighbors of a man found dead in a house fire in southeast Houston described him as a kind and caring man always willing to help.
Family members identified the victim trapped in the burning home as 66-year-old Russell Waddy.
Residents in the tight-knit neighborhood said they desperately tried to help when they spotted flames at the home on Wenda Street just west of Martin Luther King Boulevard around 11 p.m.
"We just came running down the street and we went up, we were trying to get to the door to see if we can try and get in there, but it was too late, the whole house was engulfed in flames," Sheniqua Lewis said.
Houston Fire Department crews said they had to sweep the home three times before finding Waddy in one of the bedrooms of the home.
Neighbors were heartbroken and said Waddy was loved by everyone.
"I just can't believe it. We didn't lose a friend, we lost a family member," Lewis said.
She said the man they called "Mr. Russell" grew up in the neighborhood and she'd known him for more than 20 years.
"I mean, he's just a really good person, really sweet," Lewis said.
"He was a good dude, everybody nicknamed him Waddy and Rusty," neighbor Barrett Foster said. "He was my buddy man. We love him. We're going to miss him."
No one else was hurt.
Family members said Waddy lived alone and leaves behind a daughter.
Arson investigators are trying to determine what caused this fire.