Slaton couple now homeless after Monday morning house fire - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/1/10

Slaton couple now homeless after Monday morning house fire

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SLATON, TX (KCBD) - Flames ripped through a Slaton family's home Monday morning, destroying almost everything they own. Still, the family says they're grateful to have escaped unharmed.

"As bad as it is, there's blessings to it," Nitra Barnes said. She and her husband Dennis have lived on the corner of South 7th and East Knox for nearly eight years. Monday morning they watched as flames ripped through everything they owned. "My husband started yelling call 911 the house in on fire," Barnes said.

She tells NewsChannel 11 the smoke alarm alerted them to the fire around 1:00 a.m. As they ran out of the house, Barnes says they saw a ceiling fan dropping fire onto the bed in their guest room. "We got one cell phone and got out and got the fire department here," Barnes said.

"Upon arrival it was totally involved," Slaton Fire Marshal Freddie Rainwater said. Fire crews had to evacuate the house next door to the Barnes', because they say it was just too close to the flames, posing a risk to the person inside. "Right now we're believing it's electrical," Rainwater said.

Rainwater says working smoke detectors probably saved the Barnes' lives. "It was a blessing. Without that, with as much smoke coming out of the house when we arrived, they probably wouldn't have survived the fire," Rainwater said.

Five hours after the initial call, fire crews still couldn't reach flames that continued to burn through the home's roof. They had to call in a backhoe to rip into the structure to extinguish the flames. "It's been a really hard night, but we'll be okay," Barnes said.

Barnes tells us they had to let their home insurance laps when her husband was in the hospital a few months ago. Friends have set up assistance funds at American State Bank and Citizens Bank under Dennis and Nitra Barnes.
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LUBBOCK, TX(KCBD)- NewsChannel 11 was on the scene on Monday morning where a fire that started around 1:15 a.m. has left a Slaton couple homeless.

The fire started in the 600 block of south 7th Street. The couple that lived in the home says they were awakened by a smoke detector. They noticed flames falling from the ceiling in the guest bedroom and ran outside.

When crews arrived the house was fully engulfed with smoke billowing from the roof. The house is a total loss. The couple is being assisted by the Red Cross, however, the couple is staying with family members.

Stay with NewsChannel 11 for the latest on this story.

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