Family of nine escapes house fire
Published 9:00 am Thursday, November 20, 2014
A family of nine was displaced from their home when it was heavily damaged by fire early Wednesday morning.
The Elizabethton Fire Department responded to the fire at 1205 Thomas Blvd. at around 8:15 a.m. Fire Marshal Jack Buckles was the first on the scene.
“When I pulled up, there was heavy smoke everywhere,” Buckles said. “You could see the smoke before you arrived at the home.”
Wind carried smoke from the fire into downtown Elizabethton.
Buckles said everyone living at the home were able to escape without injury. The family includes four adults and five children, ages 8, 6, 4, 3 and 7 months.
Jeremy Hall, who lives in the home, smelled smoke and alerted his family to the fire. He helped them all escape.
Hall said he had just got his son ready for school and was starting to fall back to sleep when he smelled plastic burning and heard the fire alarm.
“I heard the alarm, and it woke me up,” he said. “Then I noticed smoke over our head, up near the ceiling. I woke up my wife and told her something was burning and grabbed the baby out of the crib. I woke up my father-in-law and brother-in-law and told everybody to get out of the house. If it wasn’t for the smoke alarm, we’d be dead.”
The family went to a neighbor’s house, and within minutes, Hall said he could see flames in the bedroom he and his wife and infant had just escaped from. Around that time, he said smoke started “pouring” out of the attic vents.
“It was pretty much over after that,” he said
Firefighters battled the fire for hours and were on the scene until shortly before noon.
Fire Marshal Jack Buckles said a preliminary investigation found the fire had started in the bathroom near a power strip.
“It was electric in nature,” Buckles said. “It either started at the power strip or something that was plugged into the power strip. The area was too burnt up to say for sure.”
Two rooms in the home were heavily fire damaged, and the rest of the home had smoke and water damage.
The local Red Cross office was called in to assist the family, who lost many of their belongings in the fire.
Donations of clothing would be appreciated. The family needs clothes and accessories in the following sizes:
• Junior women’s clothing, size 9;
• Women’s shoes, size 9;
• Men’s shirts, sizes large, extra-large and 2XL;
• Men’s pants, sizes 34/32, 36/36 and 38/30;
• Men’s shoes, sizes 101⁄2, 11 and 12;
• Infant girls’ clothes, sizes 6 months to 9 months;
• Infant shoes, size 2;
• Girls’ clothes, sizes 5T and 14 to 16;
• Girls’ shoes, size 11;
• Boys’ clothes, sizes 4T and 8; and
• Boys’ shoes, sizes 11⁄2 and 10.
Donations can be made by calling 297-5728.