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Family Loses Their Home In A Fire

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A family's home is gone after they were apparently just trying to stay warm.

It happened in Greasy Creek in Pike County Wednesday night.

WYMT's Angela Sparkman talked to the family who says a coal-burning stove is where the fire started.

The Ratliff family says it was a mistake, but now they're just glad they're all alive.

For the firemen who put it out, they say it's a common scene in the winter and warn everyone to not make the same mistake and risk losing your home or even your life.

The Ratliff family can only throw away what's left after a fire destroyed one mobile home and a garage.

“It could have been a lot worse,” Dennis Ratliff said.

Dennis Ratliff is glad his uncle who lived there survived.

He says there was nothing they could do after they saw the flames.

“Seen the roof was on fire where the stove goes through and other than that, all chaos broke loose after that. It came over and caught this garage on fire, and it just keep moving on,” Ratliff said.

Firemen believe the coal stove sparked it.

“Too hot I guess, trying to get too warm too quick and everything got real warm,” Ratliff said.

Millard Fire Chief Glen Adkins says he sees scenes like this every time the temperature dips
below freezing, and often a coal stove or space heater is to blame.

Adkins says people can prevent this.

Just keep space heaters away from curtains, couches and other items that can catch on fire and never put one in a doorway, or it could be deadly mistake.

“A few years back, we had a case where people put a space heater in the hallway going to the outside door, two people burnt up because they couldn't get out,” Chief Adkins said.

The Ratliffs lost some pets in the fire, but they're glad they still have each other.

Firemen also say you shouldn't leave space heaters on while if no one is home and Adkins says during this cold weather, everyone should make sure their smoke detectors work because that's the best way to combat a fire.


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