LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) — Despite their best efforts, neighbors were unable to rescue 71-year-old Eugene Wimbs from his burning house.
Torra Mosley, one of Wimbs’ neighbors, said it all happened in the darkness of night, when Mosley said she watched as a woman begged for help.
“She was screaming, ‘Help! Help! Gene is in the house! Somebody get Gene!’” recalled Mosley.
Another neighbor, Herbert Burrows, said his wife ran to Wimbs’ room trying to get him out.
“She kept calling ‘Gene! Gene! Get up! The house is on fire!’” recalled Burrows.
“According to her, he answered her as if he was getting up. He got out of bed, went back and got back into bed while the house was on fire. It didn’t make sense,” said Burrows.
Mosley said everyone felt helpless.
“Nobody could bear that amount of smoke,” said Mosley.
The neighbors said that the smoke remained heavy even when the fire department arrived.
Lauderhill Fire Chief Jeff Levy said his crew pulled Wimbs from the home and administered CPR, but that it was too late.
The daylight of Saturday morning revealed the fire’s aftermath: a burned out bed frame and the air conditioner in Wimbs’ room.
Wimbs’ neighbors said the retired paper deliveryman had health problems but liked being neighborly.
The fire is under investigation, and the cause of the fire is not yet known.