Saturday morning blaze destroys rent home

February 19, 2014

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One Granbury couple no doubt gained a new respect for fire alarms last weekend.

Justin Hall and his girlfriend Madison Jacobs said that when they were awakened by the fire alarm in their rent home on Cleburne Street Saturday morning, they thought it was a false alarm. But they soon realized the fire was all too real.

“(Justin) opened up the bedroom door and the living room wall was on fire,” Jacobs said. “I didn’t grab anything but the dog. It was mind-blowing. It was scary. Now we don’t have anything.”

“When I opened up the door, I told her to get up and get out of the house,” Justin Hall said.

They were able to get out in time, using the back door. Hall’s 22-year-old sister Amber Hall was not home at the time, they said.

The house was a total loss, according to Granbury Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Darrell Grober. He said the fire was called in to emergency dispatch at about 8:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.

The fire was believed to have begun in the living room, Grober said. City Fire Inspector Kevin Jones was investigating to find the source of the fire as of press time.

The couple, along with Hall’s sister, lost virtually all their belongings. They said they didn’t have renter’s insurance.

The three – who grew up and went to school in Granbury – were given a temporary place at a local hotel, and the landlord told them she has an apartment they can rent after that with no money down.

As scary as it was seeing the flames inside the home, Jacobs said that witnessing it from outside after they exited was even tougher.

“Standing back and watching the house burn down was pretty terrible,” Jacobs said.

“It was pretty rough,” said Justin, who works in masonry. “When we first called (911) it was only one wall. Then the flames were shooting 10 feet off the roof. When the fire department got there, it was gone.”

He said two of the windows blew out. They also heard one loud noise coming from inside, which he guessed was a paint can exploding.

“Justin went back in twice, to get his wallet and his dad’s truck keys and his phone.”

After that, she said, it would have been “stupid” to go back in again because the smoke was too thick.

“It was so smoky I couldn’t see anymore,” Justin Hall said.

Hall said he also salvaged a photo album, although the outside was covered in foam.

The couple had just moved into the home on Feb. 1.

“The whole experience was pretty tough,” Hall said. “We just put every dollar we had into the house. It’s just all gone now. We have no money. The toughest part is having to start all over again.”

What wasn’t turned to ashes was covered in fire-stopping foam, she said.

By late Sunday afternoon, she said they had begun to get some help from the community, and planned to go to Mission Granbury and People Helping People once they were open this week.

“We got couches and a kitchen table,” Jacobs said. “People in Granbury have helped us out a lot.”

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