Both Austin Fire and Manchaca Fire-Rescue responded to a call at 12:30 Friday afternoon about a travel trailer on fire on Hickory Ridge Road in southern Travis County.
AFD says a neighbor made a brave attempt to save the man who lived there.
“That caller was able to pull the victim from the fire and move him right outside the trailer. He was rescued by the bystander, but by that time, he was deceased,” said division chief Thayer Smith.
Mike Tolle knew the victim, identified at this time, as a man in his 50's, for seventeen years. Tolle says they were about to spend some time together Friday.
“Two hours before this happened I was on my way over there. I just couldn't get off the porch and over there. I wish I would've now,” said Mike Tolle, the victim’s friend.
When he saw first responders arriving on the property and the big flames, he knew things had taken a turn for the worse.
“It was huge, it was straight up in the air, very tall,” he said describing the flames. “Everybody was showing up, like all the police and everything. I heard them saying it's in the back it's in the back,” said Tolle.
Tolle says his friend was moving in the right direction in life. He is shocked by the unexpected and right now, unexplained death
“He stayed to himself, he wasn't messing with anybody. I’ll be honest with you, I watched the guy on his own quit drinking beer, because he wanted to. I watched him quit smoking cigarettes. He was on the methadone program and took himself off the methadone program,” said Tolle.
According to the Travis County Fire Marshall, they have collected the evidence they need and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. For this community, it' s an unimaginable loss
“He was definitely a true friend,” said Tolle.