House fire accidental; cause still uncertain

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 3, 2002

A fire on Meadowbrook Drive that destroyed a house earlyWednesday morning was accidental, according to fireauthorities.

Brookhaven Fire Chief Paul Cartwright and State Fire Marshal JimWoodard visited the scene at 404 Meadowbrook Drive Wednesdayafternoon to determine the cause of the fire, Cartwright said.Although they were unable to isolate a cause, the two men were ableto determine the fire was accidental.

“We knew pretty well we had an attic-type fire because they werehome at the time,” Cartwright said.

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Charles and Bette Dixon were asleep when they were awakened bythe fire alarm. As they attempted to escape the fire their firstexit was blocked by flames. The couple managed to escape the homeby crawling through a window.

“If it hadn’t been for the smoke detectors the homeowners wouldnever have got out,” Cartwright said. “The home was fully involvedby the time they got out.”

The chief said the investigation has focused on one area of thehouse they are “pretty certain is where it started,” but are notcertain what caused it.

The investigation has narrowed the cause down to three separatepossibilities, he said. An electrical fire, chimney fire orpossibly an electrical fire caused by a computer in the home.

“They did have a fire going in the chimney,” he said.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 4:25 a.m. Wednesday andbattled the blaze until approximately 9:15 a.m. They were notifiedby a 911 call placed on a cell phone.

The home and its contents were a total loss.