By Vanesa Brashier, email@example.com
A house fire on Lawrence St. on the southeast side of Liberty Sunday night nearly ended in tragedy for one man, according to Fire Chief Brian Hurst.
The man was sleeping inside his burning home, oblivious of the fire that had started on his back porch and was quickly spreading to other parts of the single-story house.
“When I arrived, there was heavy fire on the back porch. It was totally on fire,” Hurst said. “In doing an assessment of the home, we found some windows were broken by the heat of the fire. Fire had spread into the next room, which I believe was the living room.”
Firefighters pulled hoses to the front and back of the home and began dousing the fire from both sides. Meanwhile, a firefighter captain and a police officer broke into the home and began searching for occupants.
“During the primary search, we found a man asleep in one of the bedrooms. He was coughing but had no clue the house was on fire,” Hurst said. “A secondary sweep of the home was done to look for more people but no one else was found inside the home.”
The man, said to be in his 30s, was led through the front door to safety.
According to Hurst, it is believed the fire originated from a barbecue pit.
“From our investigation, it appears accidental due to cooking. He had been grilling and some of the coal fell out and ignited the back porch,” the chief said. “He would probably have died in the fire or suffered smoke inhalation had we not found him when we did. The fire was moving quickly through the window and spreading inside the home.”
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the back porch and the living room; however, the house sustained water and smoke damage.