Several Hawkins County fire departments responded to the house fire at 154 Dawn Lane, located north of Rogersville in a subdivision behind Otis Eldridge’s “Memory Lane” festival grounds.
Hawkins County Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Murrell also serves on the Striggersville Volunteer Fire Department, which was primary responder to this fire.
Murrell said the family members are two couples, a 2-month-old child and a disabled woman — all of whom were home when the fire started.
“All we know now is it started in the garage area, and it spread rapidly through the entire house,” Murrell said. “We got to talk to one of the occupants, who said they come outside to smoke, and they don’t smoke inside the house. He said they went out, came back inside and said, ‘I think the house is on fire.’ He opened the garage, and it was on fire.”
The call was received by Hawkins County Central Dispatch at 5:19 p.m.
Although the family escaped without injury, five firefighters were treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.
Murrell said the fire was already through the roof above the garage when the first firefighters arrived on the scene.
The heat was so intense it melted the aluminum siding on the house across the street and melted shingles on the roof of the house next door. It was so hot that paint peeled off the Striggersville fire truck parked on the street in front of the house.
The closest water source was in Rogersville, and assisting fire departments used their tankers to carry water back and forth.
The house couldn’t be saved, and Murrell said two departments were utilized to save the other two houses while the rest worked on transporting water and putting out the fire.
“There’s nothing salvageable at all,” Murrell said. “The Red Cross came and put them up in a motel, and they’re meeting with them again in the morning to help them out further.”
Departments assisting Striggersville included Lakeview, Bulls Gap, Persia, Stanley Valley, Carters Valley, Hawkins County EMS and the Hawkins County Rescue Squad.