Collins Family Displaced After Early Morning House Fire - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Collins Family Displaced After Early Morning House Fire

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Around 5 a.m. Denise Hinton was on her way to work when her brother's girlfriend called to tell her the house they shared, along with Hinton's two children, was on fire.

"Really I didn't know which emotion to have," Hinton recalled.  "I was shocked as well as hurt because when it's your home and all that you've worked for and it goes up in flames like that, it's gut wrenching."

The Collins Fire Department was on scene seven minutes after receiving the call.

"Fire department attack crews were able to make a quick attack of the fire aggressively and had the fire knocked out in just a matter of a couple minutes," Chief John Pope said.

"That time of morning, who's awake to respond to a fire?" Hinton asked.  "I was just in awe of how well they contained it."

Pope said the quick response helped combat fire and water damage to the structure, but the whole house suffered smoke damage.

The investigation into what caused the fire is ongoing.  Preliminary reports show a space heater may have sparked the blaze.

"We just ask citizens to be cautious and careful this time of year," Pope reminds. "We ask them to be fire-safe all the time, but especially in the winter months when we have longer durations of cold weather like we're experiencing now."

As residents bring out extra heating sources, Pope asks them to take extra precautions.

"If you leave a heater on when you're not at the dwelling in cold temps and cold durations, those heaters can inadvertently kick on and off multiple times or they can cause enough heat if they're close to combustibles to start a fire," Pope said. 

Hinton said they never leave their heaters on when they aren't home, but this time her brother forgot.

"I just want to remind everybody to be sure to check to make sure if you have electric heaters that they are off or either unplugged, and never take for granted anything," Hinton said.

No injuries were reported.  The Red Cross is helping to assist the family.

http://www.redcross.org/

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