The residence of Daren Neville and family, 1059 New Bethel Road, caught fire about 10 a.m. Thursday, December 11. Units of the Lafayette Fire Department arrived to find the 28 ft. by 66 ft. dwelling fully engulfed in flames. Heat from the fire was intense enough to melt the vinyl siding from a large utility building at the rear of the property, and the house and its contents were a total loss.
Several firefighters were briefly overcome by smoke and exhaustion and were treated on the scene by county EMS personnel.
The owners were at work and the children in school when the house caught fire. A family pet dog perished in the conflagration.
Homeowner Daren Neville advised firefighters there was a gun cabinet in a front room and a large amount (500 rounds) of .22 ammunition. A loaded muzzle loader rifle was also in the gun cabinet. Firefighters retreated from that end of the burning house when the ammunition began exploding, and LFD Safety Officer Don Stevens said firefighters reported seeing debris flying high in the air above the roof following the explosion of the muzzle loader rifle charge.
Earlier in the week a young couple and their children escaped a fiercely burning house unharmed Tuesday morning, but lost all their belongings and two pet dogs to the intense smoke and fire.
The 7 a.m. structure fire occurred at 631 Elzie...
Williams Road, which is about half a mile west of the Carthage Road near Red Boiling Springs.
Red Boiling Springs firefighters and first responders asked for “more manpower” shortly after their arrival at the fire scene, and units of the Lafayette Fire Department, including two large tanker trucks, quickly joined the response to the call.
James Stafford and April Savage and their three children huddled for warmth in the family car a short distance from the small rental house, a 1,200 square foot frame dwelling which was fully enveloped in flames.
April Savage said she believed an electric heater was the cause of the fire, which rousted them out of the house into snow showers which fell over the area Tuesday morning, January 9.
Macon County Schools opened two hours late due to the weather event. A wet, heavy snow fell over the eastern half of the county in the hour or two before sunrise.
Ms. Savage was in tears as she related that their family pets, two small dogs, were still inside the burning house. “We stood at the door and called and called, but they didn't make it out. They are usually under foot and out the door before we are, but they must have been confused or overcome by the smoke and fire,” she said. One of the two dogs was later found near the front door of the burned out house. The animals had apparently been overcome by smoke before they could exit the residence.
The rental dwelling is located next door to a second rental residence, both owned by Patricia Baldwin of Dixon Springs, TN. The second house, at 647 Elsie Williams Road was not damaged by the blaze.
Ms. Baldwin asked RBS Fire Capt. Todd Gentry for an investigation into the cause of the fire, and Gentry contacted Macon County Sheriff's Detective Jimmy Hardin who is pursuing the matter.
Detective Hardin said on Friday, December 12, that the insurance company who Ms. Baldwin had coverage with would be asked to assist in an investigation of the cause and origin of the early morning fire. Ms. Baldwin apparently had insurance coverage on the dwelling itself, while the renters, Ms. Savage and Mr.Stafford, had insurance coverage on the contents.
An official fire report from the Red Boiling Springs Fire Department was not available.