Six people, including three children, escape fire

House at Northwood Place destroyed
Apr. 30, 2013 @ 08:11 AM

Fire marshals are still trying to figure out what caused a fire that destroyed a house on Northwood Place Saturday night.

Jean Patterson was inside the house with her daughter Melita Patterson, grandson Julius Patterson and her three grandchildren, ages 3, 5 and 6, when the fire started before 10 p.m., said Melita Patterson's sister, Ericka Warren, who lives two houses away.

“Melita came out of the bathroom and saw flames coming from a bedroom at the end of the hallway,” Warren said. “They tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, but the security system was telling them to get out.”

Warren arrived to see a rapidly moving fire engulfing the home.

“It was moving so fast, like it was walking down the hallway,” she said. ‘I’m just glad everybody got out OK.”

Gamewell firefighters arrived just before 10 p.m., when thick smoke was rolling from the roof of the house, and didn’t leave until close to 2:30 in the morning. Inside, firefighters from Gamewell, Valmead, Collettsville and Lenoir fire departments battled flames until the blaze burned through the ceiling, making it too dangerous to stay inside, said Gamewell Battalion Chief Kevin Story. Then, it was a matter of containing the fire.

The American Red Cross was on hand to provide water for the firefighters and any assistance needed by the victims, who have taken up temporary residence at Warren’s duplex.