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Blaze destroys South Hall home

At least 4 people in house escaped safely; 2 dogs died

POSTED: January 17, 2014 11:37 p.m.

Wintergreen Court house fire

A fire blazes Thursday night at a home on Wintergreen Court north of Winder Highway.

/Courtesy LaSha Ackerman

A fire blazes Thursday night at a home on Wintergreen Court north of Winder Highway.

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A late evening fire destroyed a home Thursday night on Wintergreen Court off Poplar Springs Road in South Hall.

Hall County firefighters responded to a call from the resident saying there was a fire in the home’s garage, authorities said. When units arrived, the 1,800-square-foot home with basement was engulfed in flames.

LaSha Ackerman, who lives across the street from the home, said firefighters arrived about two minutes after the fire started.

“Thankfully everyone got out safely, except for their dogs, but there was no way anyone could go back in for them,” she said. “It went up too fast.”

Ackerman said it was an explosion that sent her outside where she witnessed the fire.

“There was a really loud explosion. I ran outside and the family was getting in the car,” she said.

At least four people and two dogs were in the home at the time of the fire.

Ackerman said she heard what she believed were several more explosions as the fire moved quickly to overtake the structure.

“I was really concerned about it spreading (to neighboring homes),” she said. “But the firemen were so quick to respond, and they did such a good job responding.

Fire investigators were on the scene Friday, but the structure was still unsafe and contained hot spots, Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell said.

“There’s been a lot of investigators out there all day long,” Ackerman said.

The Red Cross was contacted to assist the residents.

“What we do is based upon the damage of the home,” said Shawn Coleman, Red Cross of Northeast Georgia’s interim disaster program manager. “We respond on the scene; we provide clothes,” she said, and other emergency items and housing for immediate support. “If the family doesn’t have insurance, we provide referrals to other agencies that can help with that.”

According to Coleman, it is possible for there to be a lag time between Red Cross and an insurance company. This is when community agencies are invaluable.

“I have been known to get on the phone to advocate for the family with the insurance company,” Coleman said.



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