A Decatur family mourned the loss of three pets Tuesday night after the animals perished in a house fire.
Just before 9 p.m. smoke was reported to be pouring from the front door of a home in the 1600 block of Chenoweth Street. Decatur Fire Chief Mike Richardson said Marshal and Jennifer Albritton and their family were not home when the fire started. They rent the home from Cecil Lemmond and live there with their two sons and a third adult.
“They had gone to eat, and when they got home, they opened the front door and smoke started billowing out,” he said.
Richardson said the fire started in the kitchen, which burned out, and the rest of the single-story, brick structure sustained heavy smoke and heat damage.
The family lost two dogs and one cat that were inside the home. One cat and one dog survived, including a black feline that firefighters carried from the house and a Saint Bernard that the homeowner brought from the backyard and loaded into the family car.
Richardson said one firefighter was injured when he fell going around the house to find a point of entry.
“Even though he was hurt, he grabbed a hose and went in anyway,” he said. “I’ll probably take him to the emergency room to be checked out just in case.”
Decatur Fire Department had two engines on scene, and Bridgeport Fire Department assisted with one engine. Wise County Rescue 1 and Decatur Police Department also responded.
American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist with the family’s immediate needs.