Three people were injured when a house exploded just before noon Wednesday on Southeast Loop 323 at Easy St. across from TK Gorman High School.
Witnesses said they rushed to the scene when they saw a man running out of the house; he was on fire.
"I looked up and saw this guy running and he was on fire, his back and his legs," neighbor Mike Underhill said. "I just went running over there and helped put the fire out on his legs. One guy was swatting at it and I took my jacket off and was patting him down to smother the fire."
Underhill said the man was conscious when he was transported to the hospital, but was severely burned.
"He was badly burned, from about above his knee down. The pants were completely off, they burnt off," Underhill said. "The shoes were still there but you could tell they were burnt. Then his hands and his face."
The worker was immediately transported to a local hospital, but then was transferred to a hospital in Dallas. He is listed in critical condition.
According to fire officials, that man was working on the flooring in the home at the time of the explosion.
Another person injured was an investigator from the Smith County Attorney's office. He stopped to help the man on fire. The investigator was transported to a local hospital for smoke inhalation, but the injury is not life-threatening.
The third person taken to the hospital was a passerby, but he returned to the scene and drove away in his vehicle before firefighters left.
The home formerly was a business called Mr. Appliance, but was in the process of being remodeled to become a chiropractor's office.