Shiloh home damaged in fire, one taken to UAB

Published 12:47 am Friday, February 26, 2010

Thurston Lee was standing on his porch in Shiloh when he saw smoke coming from his aunt’s house next door.

It started in the back, where his cousin Tyrone Mason was struggling to get outside.

“Before you knew it, the fire was out of control,” Lee said.

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And, while Mason, 47, was able to get out of his house on Highway 130, it wasn’t without injury.

Banks Assistant Volunteer Fire Chief David Barbaree said Mason burned around 20 to 30 percent of his body starting on top of his head and down his back.

He was transported to the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital by helicopter.

Mason lived at the home with his mother Beatrice Mason, who was also home at the time.

Beatrice was asleep when the fire broke out, but she was awakened by her son yelling.

“He was hollering. He couldn’t get out,” Beatrice said.

“My aunt was running out of the house when I ran in. There was so much smoke everywhere. All I could see was this right here,” Lee said, grabbing a hold of his aunt.

Beatrice and her son have lived in the home since 2002, but she said it’s been a part of her family for years.

“It belonged to my aunt, and when she died, we moved in,” Beatrice said.

“This house has been in my family. There’s a lot of sentimental value with it,” Lee added.

The home was completely damaged in the fire.

Lee said the fire started small around 10 p.m., and he and his cousin attempted to extinguish the flames before the fire department arrived.

Banks Volunteer Fire Chief Shane Brown said by the time the department arrived, the home was already engulfed in flames.

“Flames were coming out on three sides,” Brown said.

Brown said it’s unknown at this time what caused the fire, and the department will continue to investigate.