Remembering "Pop" killed in a fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Remembering "Pop" killed in a fire

Cedar Rapids (KWWL) - One person is dead, 11 others without a home after a late night fire.

It happened on the North East side of Cedar Rapids Monday night. Rescuers say the fire started in an upstairs bedroom. They tried to save 74-year-old Bob Booker, but Booker died.

Timmy grubbs says he woke up to the sound of alarms and the smell of smoke.

"When I woke up I thought I was dreaming," Grubbs said. He climbed out of his third floor window using the fire escape and began to pound on Booker's second floor window just below.

"I beat on the window and was yelling 'Bob, Bob' and Bob said I'm trying to put the fire out," Grubs said. "I finally broke the window and that's when I heard Bob scream." Grubbs told us once he broke the glass smoke came rushing toward him and there was nothing he could do.

"That's when I got stuck on the ladder," Grubbs said. He'd known Booker for about a year and says he'll miss him. "He was what we called "Pop", he was the neighborhood grampa," Grubbs said.

Others say Booker spent much of his time at the Mission Hope Center about a block away. People there said he'd stop in almost every day for breakfast and lunch. One woman described him as a quite man who kept to himself.

"He never hurt anybody, never bothered anybody, just sat on his porch and minded his own business," Katia Richmond said. "When I'd come to visit my brother in law, he'd be on the porch, he would speak, shake hands, I'd give him a kiss on the cheek, so would my sister Tina, he's a pretty nice old man."

Online Reporter: Brady Smith

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