Fires destroy home, damage another

By Brandon Evans and Kristen Tribe | Published Sunday, September 11, 2011
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Fire Escape

FIRE ESCAPE - Homeowner Joe Bishop was able to escape from his home Friday before firefighters arrived to put out the blaze. Messenger photo by Andrew May

A man awoke to find his house on fire early Friday afternoon in New Fairview.

Joe Bishop works nights and was asleep when his home started filling up with smoke.

“I woke up, and there was smoke all inside the home,” Bishop said.

East Wise, Rhome and Decatur fire departments responded at noon Friday to the modular home located in the 200 block of Latham Lane. Firefighters responded quickly, but it appeared to be a total loss.

While rushing from his home, Latham left the keys to his pickup inside. Even though it was only parked several feet from a front porch covered in flames, firefighters were able to protect it from damage.

Black smoke poured from the windows of the home. Bishop was sitting in a nearby ambulance. He suffers from asthma and inhaled some smoke.

“I don’t know what to do,” Bishop said. “I’ve never had anything like this happen to me before.”

Bishop thinks the fire started beneath the house. He doesn’t know what caused it.

Fire escaped burn barrels south of Boyd Friday afternoon burning a travel trailer, a vehicle and damaging a mobile home.

Fire departments were dispatched at 3:30 p.m. to the property on County Road 4860.

“The evidence indicates the physical origin of the fire was the burn barrel,” said Fire Marshal Marc Dodd.

The mobile home’s occupant, Cindy Cheek, was issued two citations by Dodd for violating the burn ban and reckless damage because the fire crossed property lines. The Class C tickets each have a $500 fine.

“We’re lucky there was no wind. Otherwise, there were a lot of homes that would have been threatened,” said Dodd.

He explained that an arson charge would not be filed because the fire did not damage structures other than those on the property where it originated.

Rhome and Boyd fire departments responded from Wise County, and La Junta and Azle fire departments responded from Parker County.

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