Hunsucker Lane home lost in blaze

Published 6:48 pm Friday, June 18, 2010

Mandy Smith Warren said watching her parents’ home burn in spiteof the efforts of firefighters’ efforts was one of the hardestthings she’s ever done.

“It’s just gone, and it was a terrible loss for our family,because the original structure was in the family for more than 100years,” she said. “Mama had the smoke detector and it woke her up,so she got the dogs and got out.”

When Warren and her husband Michael, both members of Loyd StarVolunteer Fire Department, arrived on the scene at 3181 HunsuckerLane, they thought that it was a possibility that the home could besaved.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Michael said, ‘Mandy, my first thought was that we’re going tosave this house,'” she said.

But the reality of the fire in the home of Mark and PatriciaSmith was that several remodelings had left empty spaces in theceilings and walls where the fire could hide from firefighters.

“The way it was explained to me is they’ve added on over theyears, and there are crawl spaces and voids in between the roomsand all, and in between the ceilings,” said Zetus VFD Chief DaleAnding. “We got there and made an initial knockdown and thought wehad it out, but it ended up between the voids in the ceiling andthe attic.”

The home was made of pine and burned quickly, but the differentlevels and layers of walls and ceilings sheltered and fostered thefire, officials said. At one point chainsaws were even used on someof the walls to try to get through to where the fire was burning,Anding said.

In addition to the difficulty of finding the sources of thefire, the three departments on the scene – Zetus, Loyd Star and HogChain – had just conducted a rigorous search and rescue andfirefighting training session from 6 p.m. to about 10:30 p.m. Whenthe call went out for the Hunsucker Lane fire at around 10:45 p.m.,fire departments were just headed home.

“Hog Chain was still refilling their truck with water fromtraining when we got the call and called them for backup, and theyhad to finish filling before they could come,” Anding said. “We’dbeen on training session for four or five hours, then got pagedright back out there to a house fire. But that’s what we do.”

Meanwhile, with the assistance of loved ones and the Red Cross,the Smiths are staying with family until they can figure out whattheir next move is.

“We don’t know. We haven’t gotten to that point, and we’re in adaze trying to figure out the next step,” Warren said.

But even in the ashes, the Smiths were grateful that there wereno injuries as a result of the fire.

“We want to express our great appreciation to the volunteerfiremen and women of Loyd Star, Hog Chain and Zetus firedepartments for everything they did to try to save our parents’home,” Warren said. “They went above and beyond the call of dutyand their efforts will not be forgotten. We have the most awesomegroup of guys and girls in these departments.”

Units were on the scene until 4 a.m. extinguishing hot spots,officials said.