Starting over

Published 10:40 pm Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Betty Collins stood outside what was left of she and her husband’s Troy residence Wednesday morning.

With tear-filled eyes, Collins said she and her husband Charles didn’t have much remaining after their home on Sun Street caught fire late Tuesday.

“We’ve got to start all over again,” she said.

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Aside from a washing machine and refrigerator, Betty said the couple was back to square one, after residing at 112 Sun Street for the last two years.

Around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Betty said she was asleep while her husband was awake watching TV by her side.

“I was asleep, and he woke me up and said the home was on fire,” she said.

Both were able to make it out of their residence safely, and for the next hour the couple was left watching their home go up in flames.

By the time the Troy Fire Department arrived on scene, flames were already through the ceiling.

Troy Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw called it “lucky” the home caught fire at the time it did.

“If it had been later in the night, they might have both been killed,” Outlaw said.

Wednesday morning fire department employees returned to the home in efforts to determine the fire’s cause.

But, Outlaw said after spending the day investigating, the cause will remain undetermined.

“We found where it started, but we couldn’t determine if it was electrical or something else that caught on fire,” Outlaw said. “We’re going to leave it undetermined. If you put a cause, you have to be 100 percent certain that’s what it is.”

Outlaw said the fire originated in the closet off the bathroom, near the rear of the home.

“Instead of going inside of the house, it went to the ceiling part of the house,” he said. “An attic fire is hard to get to and put out.”

Betty said she the two had no family locally to stay with.

American Red Cross Director Jane Thrash said the organization will reach out to the couple, providing food and clothing.

Thrash said after a report is filed and their needs are determined, Red Cross will do referrals to other charitable organizations.

Anyone looking to assist can contact the local Red Cross at 536-0632 and ask what the needs are.