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By Carmen Ensinger
Fire departments from Carrollton, White Hall and Greenfield responded to a fire on North Main St. in Carrollton Monday afternoon, but all of their combined efforts couldn’t save the turn of the century home.
Carrollton Fire Chief Tim Thaxton said his department received the call around 6:30 p.m. and the first truck arrived on scene around five minutes later.
“We got down there and the south side was completely involved with a heavy presence of fire,” he said. “The entire fire floor was on fire and it was already extending up into the second floor.”
The home is owned by Lisa Handley, who was not home at the time the blaze began.
“She said she had gone to Dollar General to get some things,” Thaxton said. “When she got back, we were all there fighting the fire and trying to save what was left of her house.”
Thaxton said the house burned very quick and very hot.
“One of the Greenfield firemen noted that he had just drove through there 10 to 15 minutes before the call to our department came in and he didn’t see a thing,” Thaxton said. “As a matter of fact, he had just pulled into his driveway at Greenfield when we got paged out. Like I said, we were there within five minutes and the fire was from the porch to the peak of the roof already. At one point, we were worried about the house next door because of the close proximity and the wind.”
The fire was so hot, Thaxton said they had to park the firetrucks across the street.
“The fire was actually hot enough that we had to spot the truck on the south side of the street,” he said. “The house sits on the north side so normally that is where we would park the truck. We had some guys that came up and said they could feel the heat at the intersection of First St. and Rt. 108. It was a very old house and she was dry so once it got going there was a lot of BTU’s coming off of it.”
Thaxton said it was so hot they spent the first 15 minutes just fighting the fire from the outside before they could gain entrance to the structure to fight it from the inside.
The cause of the fire is suspected to be a candle sitting on a coffee table left burning unattended.
“There was a big hole in the floor where we figure the fire originated and when I talked to the owner she said she had a candle on the coffee table right there in that exact location,” he said. “The fire pretty much gutted all four rooms downstairs and the bedroom above the living room is 90 percent gone as well. I would say the home is a total loss.”
No one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries in fighting the blaze. Thaxton said crews were on scene for more than two hours. Assisting Carrollton, which included trucks from Kane and Eldred, who are part of Carrollton Fire Protection District, were Greenfield and White Hall, with Roodhouse on standby.