A North Jackson Street family Monday morning fled from their flaming home, which was heavily damaged by the midmorning blaze.
No one was injured, but the family escaped with little more than the clothes they had on.
Resident John Shaw said that he was awakened by another family member who called out for everyone to get out because the house was on fire. He made it out with his clothes, shoes and a wallet, although his work ID and other information were in the house. At least one other family member made it out of the duplex that had been converted to one house that they were in the process of renovating with only the clothing he was wearing, and no shoes.
Shaw said he, brothers George and Bobby Hatley, nephews Chris Brown and Jarred Brown, along with one man’s female friend were at home at about 6:30 a.m. when one of the men discovered the blaze. Billy Hatley, another of the men’s brothers, wasn’t at home as he’d spent the night with a friend.
Shaw said he considers himself and the other residents to be fortunate in that they all escaped, unharmed.
Sulphur Springs Fire and Police departments, along with Hopkins County Emergency Medical Services personnel, were dispatched at 6:32 a.m. Monday to 1032 North Jackson Street to the structure fire. The location was determined to actually be two addresses, 1030 and 1032 Jackson St. Police arrived and reported all occupants had gotten out of the house.
Firefighters noted flames visible from the rear left side of the converted duplex when they arrived. SSFD requested the shift of officers slated to report for duty in less than two hours be called in early to assist with the fire-fight.
The blaze consumed the rear section of the single story wood frame and spread across the top of the house through the “ship-lap” roofing. Actual fire damage was limited mostly to the rear, ceiling and part of the left side of the house, although all of it sustained serious smoke damage, firefighters at the scene reported. Firefighters’ efforts to put out hotspots were hampered by the overlapping roofing, which made getting to and locating smoldering sections difficult. Firefighters continued to work at the scene until about 9:45 a.m. Monday.
Sulphur Springs fire investigators had arrived at the scene at 11:30 a.m. Monday and were surveying the structure, trying to determine what caused the blaze which likely started in the back of the house as that section was the most damaged.
The local branch of the American Red Cross was contacted to assist the family of men with immediate needs such as lodging, clothing and other basic necessities.
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