A Dayton family escaped their burning home in the early morning hours Tuesday after being alerted to the fire by their cats, according to Liberty County Fire Marshal Bill Hergemueller.
“The homeowner woke up because her cats were running around in the living room. She went to see what was going on and saw smoke and fire coming from a back part of the house,” Hergemueller said.
The woman’s husband tried unsuccessfully to put out the fire before the arrival of firefighters from Dayton, HWY 321, Kenefick and ESD 3 fire departments. It took them four hours to extinguish the fire that had fully-engulfed the home.
Hergemueller said the house – a brick structure with an add-on porch on a concrete slab at 10 White Wing Dr. – is a total loss. Fortunately, the family had insurance.
While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Hergemueller said people can lessen their risk of a house fire by avoiding unattended heat lamps and space heaters. There is always a heightened risk of house fires during the cold winter months as people attempt to keep themselves and their pets and livestock warm.
“If you use a space heater or a heat lamp, shut them off at night before you go to bed. Don’t plug space heaters or heat lamps into extension cords because that increases your fire risk. Extension cords will end up catching on fire themselves,” he said.