Louisiana homeowner Mike Haddock said his family’s emergency escape plan kept them safe during the Tuesday, Aug. 20 blaze that severely damaged their house.
“We all got out fine, plus the dogs,” Haddock said. “We went through our plan.
“Everybody should have one. We’re lucky we got out. The house can be rebuilt.”
The family plan let Haddock, his wife Kim Haddock, and three their sons escape quickly and then gather at a central meeting place.
The blaze broke out about 3 a.m. at the family’s 4,200-square-foot home at 1601 Georgia Street.
“My wife was downstairs sleeping. She saw the fire and woke us up,” Haddock said. “It was probably something electrical.”
Haddock has lived in the home since the early 1970s when he was a toddler. It was built in the 1800s and remodeled in 1928, he said.
Haddock said the family will stay in a motel “until we can find a more permanent place.”
The homeowner said he would contact contractors and then start the rebuilding process on the Georgia Street lot.
Louisiana Fire Department personnel arrived to find the house smoking profusely from an attached sun room and the second floor.
“It got into the walls and then upstairs and into the attic, Haddock said.
Firefighters on ladders broke out windows to the second floor in order to turn hoses on the blaze.
Firefighters also responded from the Buffalo Township Fire Protection District and the Illinois fire departments of Pleasant Hill and Spring Creek.
Morning drivers had to maneuver their way around the scene on side streets as firefighters cordoned off several blocks of Georgia Street and adjacent roads.
The blaze was under control by 6:35 a.m.