In Feb. 26 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
A fire at a eastern Russell County home on Saturday proved a total loss for its owner, according to Eli Fire Chief Ronnie McGaha.
McGaha said his department was paged out around 12:30 p.m. to the Kelly Luttrell residence in Eli. Luttrell was out of town at the time of the fire, according to McGaha, who said neighbors discovered the fire and called it in to authorities.
“We were advised of a structure fire and upon arriving saw heavy smoke,” he said. McGaha said the fire appeared to be in the home’s eaves and attic area.
“When we made entry we were met with heavy smoke and extreme heat,” he said.
McGaha said the residence was a house-trailer which had been built onto several times, giving way to attics’ hard-to-get-to voids due to the frame-type construction.
“The fire was concentrated on an interior wall then went upward,” he said.
McGaha said the fire appears to be electrical in nature as several breakers in the home were tripped.
“That generally gives us a pretty good indication that it is electrical,” he said.
The fire took Luttrell’s furnishings and clothing, mostly due to the extreme heat and smoke.
“We had to tear some of the ceiling out and expose the roof but most of the damage was smoke and heat-related,” McGaha said.
The Eli Volunteer Fire Department was initially on the scene for about 1 1/2 hours and were called back a second time after a small area of clothing rekindled, according to the fire chief.
He said Luttrell was now staying with friends and that anyone who wants to donate clothing, food, furnishings or money to his cause is encouraged to contact Deputy Chief Preston Richardson, who is also the department’s chaplain, at 270-866-2100 on Thursday night, beginning at 6 p.m.
McGaha said anyone wanting to donate could also contact him by calling dispatch at 270-343-6600 and leaving a call-back number.
“He really needs our help,” McGaha said.
Another residential fire, this one a mobile home in Russell Springs, broke out on Sunday afternoon around 2:25 p.m.
Russell Springs Volunteer Fire Chief H.M. Bottom said the home was located on G.V. Hale Ave. out Old Columbia Rd. and belonged to Paul Bernard.
The mobile home was being rented by Chris Jones, according to Bottom.
He said two of the home’s rooms sustained substantial damage before being extinguished by the RSVFD.
“We had it out pretty quick,” Bottom said.
“(Jones) was at home watching television and smelled smoke and heard the alarms.”
Bottom said the cause of that fire was also still under investigation.