Fire claims CR 1170 house

No one injured, but firefighters at first weren’t sure if anyone was inside burning structure

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

June 26, 2007 - Fire destroyed a house on County Road 1170 house this morning, leaving ony charred embers of the wooden structure.

Staff Photo by Angela PItts

Hopkins County, Miller Grove, Arbala, Cumby and Brinker firefighters work together to extinguish the blaze which destroyed a three-bedrooom house this morning. The occupants of the house, who reportedly had begun removing their items from the home last night, were unaccounted for until around 10 a.m. today.

No one was home at the time of the blaze, but that information was not definitively determined until after the fire was knocked down.

The fire was reported at 8:35 a.m. by a passing motorist, who indicated to county emergency dispatchers that the house, located about a quarter of a mile off FM 3389 on County Road 1170, was blazing from all four sides. The motorist reported a woman and her boyfriend had been living at the three-bedroom house but didn't know if they were at home. Their animals were still at the location, however.

Hopkins County, Miller Grove, Arbala and Cumby firefighters responded. When Hopkins County firefighters arrived, the home was engulfed in flames with little more than the frame still standing.

Firefighters requested Brinker firemen respond with their tanker truck to assist with water support. Arbala also provided additional water support. They were able to knock down the blaze relatively quickly. Then, still unsure if anyone had been inside, firemen began checking through the charred remains to rule out the possibility of occupants, finding no one inside.

The man who oversees the house noted that a woman and a man said to be her boyfriend were three months behind on rent, and following a disturbance began moving things out of the house last night. None of the vehicles used by the inhabitants were at the residence when officials arrived.

Also, there was no electricity going into the structure as it had been cut off about three weeks ago, which should rule out electrical difficulties as the cause of the blaze.

A nearby neighbor reported smelling smoke in the vacinity of the house around 7:30 a.m. but didn't think anything of it when she couldn't see any smoke or fire.

Later in the morning, the female occupant arrived at the location, confirming no one had been in the house this morning.

Hopkins County Fire Investigator Steve Caudle, assisted by David Dunn, began going through the structure around 10:30 a.m., trying to determine what caused the fire. They were still working at noon at the scene.

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