The charred remains of a motorized wheelchair still sits on the porch of a burned out house on the 1200 block of Valley Street in southeast Oak Cliff, as family and friends gather to remember Clara Green Brown.
“She was my favorite baby,” said Billy Green as he remembered his younger sister.
Clara Green Brown, 65, died during a fire at the house on Sunday morning. The woman was trapped in the back room of the house. The home did not have a smoke detector.
Billy Green explained, “I just kind of glanced this way, and I [seen] the smoke, like rolling out.”
Green says he was sitting on the porch, drinking a cup of coffee when he smelled smoke. It was coming from the back of the house near Clara’s bedroom, he said. Clara was a double-amputee and paralyzed on one side. Green says he knew he had to act fast.
“When I got about right here, the heat intensified,” he explained while walking through the damaged home.
Green says smoke and flames quickly filled the house. He says he tried everything he could to save his sister.
“I just feel like I fell short,” Green said, “because I didn’t.”
Loved ones are trying to focus on good memories of Clara Green Brown, right now. They also hope the unfortunate tragedy serves as a community alert.
Green said, ”The fire detector was an oversight on my part, due to misguided directions.”
Green and his family are now urging community members to check the safety of their own homes, hoping it will reduce the risk of a similar tragedy happening.
The cause of the Valley Street fire is still under investigation. A team from Dallas Fire Rescue plans to visit the neighborhood to do a Fire Death Survey. They will canvass the area to make sure families have working smoke detectors.
Residents in the City of Dallas who need assistance with smoke detectors may call 311 or request the device online.