Fire claims family’s home

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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A family lost its home in a fire west of Chico Sunday evening.

Flames tore through the roof of the single-family home on Private Road 1648 after 9 p.m. Firefighters from Chico, Alvord, Bridgeport and Sand Flat battled the blaze that destroyed much of the house.

Sunday Night Fire

SUNDAY NIGHT FIRE – Firefighters attack a blaze that destroyed a home west of Chico Sunday evening. Firefighters from five departments responded to the fire. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur firefighters were paged around 11 p.m. to provide mutual aid. Firefighters had the fire extinguished by 2 a.m. Monday.

“There’s some personal property they can salvage,” said Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis. “But it’s a total loss. It’s not fit to be lived in.”

The center of the roof caved in during the blaze.

Flora Shelton, who lived in the home with her husband, Jimmy, and two grandsons, was watching TV when she noticed smoke coming out of a vent.

She said she woke her husband, who was asleep on the couch in the living room, and got everyone out of the house.

“Before we got out, he went to the back bedroom [at the north end of the home, and it was covered in smoke,” Mrs. Shelton said.

Jimmy Shelton had lived in the house most of his life.

“It’s been here since 1977,” he said. “My parents moved it in after their trailer burned.”

He said the trailer fire in the exact location was July 1, 1977.

While firefighters fought the fire Sunday, Travis mentioned the fire was likely “electrical” in origin. He added that he and Fire Marshal Chuck Beard returned to the scene Monday to continue their investigation.

“It’s accidental,” Travis said. “Chuck and I are going back out to Chico just to see if it was electrical or HVAC.”

Getting to Roof

GETTING TO ROOF – Firefighters set up a ladder to get to flames atop the roof of a house near Chico. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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