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Blaze damages home

By Julie Neal | Published Sunday, August 8, 2010

CARRIED TO SAFETY - Trinity Cavanaugh is overcome with emotion as she carries a neighbor's dog away from a burning home Friday. Fire heavily damaged the home in the 200 block of Coyote Trail. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Firefighters from Rhome, Decatur and East Wise Fire departments responded to a structure fire around 2:30 p.m. Friday. A single-story manufactured home caught fire in the 200 block of Coyote Trail near New Fairview.

The fire started on the outside corner of the deck in a potted plant filled with mulch. The cause of the blaze is officially undetermined, but Wise County Fire Marshal Marc Dodd speculated the incident may have been caused by a discarded cigarette or spontaneous combustion of the mulch.

The fire caused considerable damage to the house, owned by Gina Williams and Billy Stembridge, but none of the residents were injured. Williams’ son-in-law and neighbor, Tony Cavanaugh, was listening to the police scanner when he heard reports of a fire. He called Williams when he realized the fire was across the street.

The other residents of the house, Kristi Stephenson, her daughter Kristina, Kenny King and Kathy Talley were not home at the time, but returned home when family members called.

The fire was confined to the one structure, and it was extinguished within the hour.

PUTTING OUT THE FLAMES - While firefighters worked inside, two of the home's residents attempt to put out the flames with hoses. Fire Marshal Marc Dodd said he believes the fire started in a potted plant located at the corner of the deck pictured above. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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