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Fire claims family home on Tickfaw Loop

A Lincoln County woman is thankful she got up in the middle of the night because that’s how she discovered her house was on fire.

Just after midnight Friday, Jasmine Branton woke up to the sound of popping and crackling from within her home.  When she opened her bedroom door to investigate the cause of the sound, all she saw was smoke.

“It took the room over,” Branton said.

She realized the house was engulfed in flames and rushed back to the bed to wake her husband, John. They gathered up Josephine and Thumper, their two Shih Tzu dogs who sleep with them, and rushed out of the home using a door in the bedroom that opens onto their carport.

Once outside, Branton called 911 and then watched in shock as their home burned.

Three volunteer fire departments responded to the call on Tickfaw Loop off Hwy. 84 — East Lincoln, Heucks Retreat and Zetus. Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey said the Branton’s home is the first structure fire reported this year.

The couple has been married 20 years and the one-story wood and brick house built on family land in the Fair River community has been their home the entire time.

By Friday morning, the house looked like it had folded in on itself. The remaining parts of the roof were melted and curled up, and the only things still standing were the chimney and part of the front brick wall.

Branton said they lost everything except the clothes they were wearing when they escaped.

The fire burned quickly.

“When we got there, it was just about gone,” Galey said.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

The couple and their dogs are staying with Branton’s father, who lives nearby. They’ve already been visited by their insurance adjuster and plan to rebuild as soon as possible.

“I think everything is gonna be OK,” she said.