A two-story home on US 70 East was heavily damaged Tuesday by a fire of unknown origin.
Durant Fire Department, with tanker assistance from three nearby fire departments, sent close to a dozen personnel to extinguish the 11 a.m. Tuesday blaze. Tankers from Philadelphia and Bokchito fire departments and Calera Fire & Rescue backed them up with extra water. Bryan County Emergency Medical Services was also on the scene.
“Smoke was showing when the first truck arrived and visible flames could be seen as the two engines arrived on scene,” states a Durant Fire Department press release. “Firefighters stretched hoses and made an interior attack. At one point crews were called out of the structure until it could be vented, then returned to finish extinguishing the blaze.”
“Water was a challenge,” said Durant Fire Chief Roger Joines. “We never ran out, but we got real close.”
One firefighter was treated at the scene for dehydration and heat-related conditions as a precaution.
The home of Kenneth and Mary Rodgers sustained significant damage, especially to the upper floor. While no cause of the blaze had been identified as of Wednesday morning, Mrs. Rodgers said she and her son were home when smoke started pouring from the second floor.
“My son put a towel over his face and went upstairs to find the fire,” she said. “I grabbed a bucket and filled it with water, but smoke started pouring down the stairs and I knew it was too big. I told him to get out.”
The family managed to rescue some pet birds, however, a family cat was still unaccounted for as of 1 p.m. Tuesday. The Rodgers said they would stay at another home on the property, or with relatives.
The family does not have insurance on the yellow wood-frame home, which was built by Kenneth’s dad many years ago. The family said this is the second time the home was damaged by fire, and they vowed to rebuild if possible.