A family of three in Jefferson County lost their home to fire early Wednesday morning Jan. 2.
The lakeside home at 3925 Caywood Road on Douglas Lake near Dandridge was totally destroyed and family heirlooms lost in the 3 a.m. blaze.
The homeowner, who was not identified, told firefighters that a smoke detector awoke him and he escaped the fire that had already burned one corner of the structure. He was home alone at the time.
Chestnut Hill Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Steve Shults said it appears the fire began around a fireplace where the homeowner had built a fire Tuesday night. By the time volunteer firefighters arrived, the structure was fully involved and part of the roof had collapsed.
Volunteer firefighters were hampered in fighting the fire because there are no fire hydrants in the rural areas of Jefferson County. Dandridge Volunteer Fire Department and White Pine Volunteer Fire Department helped shuttle water from other areas to battle the blazes. The property was at least two miles from the nearest fire station.
Volunteer firefighters were on the scene more than three hours before they ruled the fire had been totally extinguished.
By Wes Hall