CARTER COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – Balmy temperatures and high winds fueled brush fires across the region Friday, including one that spanned nearly 20 acres in Carter County, Ky. and destroyed a house.
“Everything's gone,” Connie Sammons said, looking at the pile of rubble where her daughter used to live.
Sammons’ daughter made it out alive, but two of her dogs died in the fire.
Sammons’ father lives in a mobile home next door, which was also scorched by the brush fire Friday. Firefighters say the call for the fire came in about 9:30 a.m. Dispatchers told WSAZ.com they sent every fire department in the county to contain the fire.
Down the hillside, Steve Carter counted his blessings. “It's a wonder that fire didn't come down and start that trailer,” Carter said as he watched the fire burn a few hundred feet away from his property. “All the things that you could lose in a fire that you can't replace – the things that's in our trailer up there.”
Denver Prater, the pastor of Hitchins Wesleyan Church, said he was worried the fire would spread down the hillside to his church’s fellowship hall.
“Right now, the wind has just picked up and could blow beyond the perimeters where they've put it right now,” Prater said.
Sammons said her family didn’t have insurance to cover the house that was destroyed.
“Start over, that's all we can do,” Sammons said. “It'll take us awhile, but we'll get back on our feet.”
Greg Shaffer, the chief of Hitchins Volunteer Fire Department, urged people to pay close attention to legal burning times and to be careful. He said his firefighters try to protect houses and people, rather than worrying about the brush or woods burning.
“If it's high winds like this, don't burn at all. When they get caught up, it takes a big effort to get it put out,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer said the fire was 99 percent out as of early Friday afternoon.
Firefighters say they are not releasing what may have caused this fire, but an arson investigator had been called as of early Friday afternoon.
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.