Couples Home Destroyed in Morning Fire

An elderly couple living on CR 140 in Flint escaped a home fire with only an armful of clothing Friday morning.

A woodstove inside the home of O.D. and Ruby Jones caught fire shortly after the couple awoke.

"I went outside to get the water hose to put the fire out," recalls O.D. "But the water hoze was frozen, everything was frozen, I couldn't get any water."

The couple salvaged nothing. Their daughter who lives next door was almost crushed by a ceiling while trying to save her parents' belongings.

"This is where I grew up," says Sandra Jones. "It's going to feel funny--I can't come over here anymore. They lost 45 years of everthing they own."

Firefighters with the Flint-Gresham volunteer fire department had their work cut out for them--heavy winds and the homes difficult design hindered their efforts.

"We had several layers of shingles and a tin roof to go through," says Assistant Smith County Fire Marshal Connie McCoy. "Plus we had two or three layers of ceilings and layers of walls. It looked like the fire was trapped between the layers. There were some add-ons to the house and that also made the fire fighting difficult."

One female volunteer firefighter was rushed to the hospital for excessive smoke inhalation. An ETMC spokesperson says the volunteer was admitted for overnight observation, but is in good condition.

The Jones will be staying with their daughter for now. Since they have no homeowners insurance, a  fund has been set up for them at Southside Bank.

   Kerri Panchuk, reporting.