Saturday Fire Leaves Family Homeless for Christmas

December 22, 2012
Dwayne Page
Saturday Fire Leaves Family Homeless for Christmas
Home of Randy and Glenda Eaton Destroyed by Fire
Fire Destroys Eaton Home
Saturday Fire at Eaton Home near Alexandria

A fire three days before Christmas has left a DeKalb County family homeless.

County Fire Chief Donny Green told WJLE that the residence of Randy and Glenda Eaton at 389 Old Liberty Road near Alexandria was destroyed by fire Saturday morning. The Eaton's were renting the home from the owner, Tommy Malone.

Central dispatch received the call at 10:08 a.m.

According to Chief Green, the Eaton's daughter, Leah Burchfield was in her bedroom when she discovered the fire across the hall in another bedroom. She then ran to the bathroom to alert her mother, who was taking a shower. 911 was notified and firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

Members of the Liberty, Main Station, and Short Mountain Highway stations of the county volunteer fire department responded along with the tanker truck, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department and DeKalb EMS. Chief Green said mutual aid assistance was requested of the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department and they arrived on the scene to help. "They (Alexandria firefighters) did a good job and we really appreciated their help", said Chief Green.

The home was lost in the fire but the family was able to salvage some of their belongings. "Upon arrival, we found heavy fire coming from the back bedroom windows and roof. We worked hard to try to extinguish and contain the fire, but it had already spread into the attic area of the house causing significant fire, heat, smoke, and water damage throughout the entire structure," said Chief Green.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross is now helping the family with their immediate needs. "The family lost most of their personal items and furnishings. DeKalb County Red Cross personnel were summoned to the scene to help the family with immediate food, clothing, and shelter needs," said Chief Green.

Although the cause of the fire cannot be determined at this time, Chief Green said statements made by the Eaton's indicate the home could have had an ongoing electrical issue that will be considered when making a determination of the cause.

Ironically, firefighters were called to the same home on Friday afternoon at around 1:38 p.m. after the family's artificial Christmas tree caught on fire in the living room, sparked by an extension cord powering a strand of lights. Chief Green said the family was at home at the time and Mr. Eaton used a blanket to smother the flames. The damage in that incident was confined to a small area of carpet under the tree. There was no significant structural damage

According to Chief Green, the fire on Friday was in no way related to the fire on Saturday and no foul play is suspected in either fire.

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