Fire destroys home near Miller Grove

No one injured, but family loses all possessions

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

April 29, 2008 - A late evening fire Monday destroyed a County Road 1126 family's home.

No one was injured as the residents were in town when the fire occurred, according to fire reports.

The blaze was discovered at 8:16 p.m. by a Miller Grove volunteer fireman, who happened to be passing by County Road 1126, located off FM 275 between Miller Grove and Cumby. He contacted county fire dispatchers advising the home was ablaze, firefighters said Tuesday morning.

Miller Grove, Hopkins County and Cumby firefighters were immediately dispatched to the location, finding the home engulfed in flames when they arrived.

Firefighters requested additional tanker support from Brinker Volunteer Fire Department and mutual aid from Campbell VFD. Both departments responded.

Unaware of the whereabouts of the family, firefighters became concerned that the residents might still be inside the collapsing home, as there were two vehicles parked nearby. Someone soon arrived at the scene and verified they were not home, however.

William Helton and his family, who had apparently gone out for a meal, returned home while firefighters were still battling the blaze.

Red Cross workers provided liquids and snacks to keep the firefighters hydrated and refreshed, and there to assist the family with their immediate needs following the fire. The Greenville Red Cross chapter provided the Heltons with money for food and clothing for emergency needs, and will help with temporary lodging.

"We usually help out for about a week, and will get them a motel for a few days," Red Cross Regional Emergency Specialist Lori Brookins said Tuesday morning. "I spoke to Mrs. (Julie) Helton, and she said they don't know what their needs are yet. They are waiting to hear from the insurance company."

Firefighters finally got the fire out at 9:09 p.m. Monday, but remained at the scene checking for hot spots within the remains.

The cause of the fire had not been reported as of Tuesday morning, but the 1-1/2 story house was destroyed;. The roof collapsed, and the rest of the structure was severely burned.

The Helton family lost all of their belonging in the fire, according to reports.

A family friend said she is working with the Heltons to obtain the necessary information to try to get a fund established at a local bank for donations to assist them.

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