Chapel Hill Fire Rekindles After Destroying Home; Firefighter Injured - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/22/2007-Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill Fire Rekindles After Destroying Home; Firefighter Injured

A house fire rekindles late Sunday night after destroying a home earlier in the day in Chapel Hill. 

The fire started around 11:30 a.m. Sunday at a house located on FM 848.  Within minutes firefighters arrived on scene, but the fire had already spread through out the home.

"Sheriffs Department called me and said fire trucks in route, and I said 'fire trucks, is the house on fire' and she said 'yes madam it is,'" said a friend of the homeowner, Carolyn Walker.  Walker received the call Sunday for her friend Mickey Cloud who is out of town.

"When I heard it I fell apart," said Walker.  "I couldn't hardly drive getting here.  I wasn't too worried about myself, I was worried about her falling apart.  She took it fairly well, but I think she is in shock."  Cloud is on vacation visiting her daughter in Oklahoma.  Walker says Cloud has lived in the house for almost twenty years.

"They've been bringing me little pieces at a time," said Walker.  "I got four chairs and a bunch of little trinkets.  When you hear it on the phone and when you literally see it is a whole different story."  Smith County Fire Marshall Jim Seaton says it was difficult for firefighters to get to the fire because of the houses structure. 

"It's been a hot frustrating fire," said Seaton.  "It's been frustrating because this is an older house that had wood walls, wood ceilings, and wood floors with sheet rock over top in a lot of those rooms, so we could not gain entry into the attic."  Another challenge was the lack of available firefighters.

"One of the reasons we have that is this is the start of annual fire school at Texas A& M," said Seaton.  "We have numerous firefighters who are down there from various departments participating.  Chapel Hill, Whitehouse, Arp, Jackson, and Troup Volunteer Fire Departments all responded to the fire.

Whitehouse volunteer firefighter Scott Beu suffered a minor injury in the blaze.  Authorities say a piece of broken glass cut his wrist and he was taken to the hospital.  Fortunately, Beu will be alright, but the house was a total loss.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.  We've been told the homeowner, Mickey Cloud should be back from vacation Sunday night.  Friends say Cloud, who worked at Carrier, was just months from retirement.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.

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