Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 23, 2017

Fire guts house in Fairfield

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Aug 11, 2017
Photo by: NICOLE MAJOR/Ledger photos The east side of the home at 808 W. Taylor Ave. was ravaged by fire early Thursday morning.

A Fairfield couple is devastated after losing both their home and their dog to a fire early Thursday morning. Rob and Kelly Williams purchased thier latest home at 808 West Taylor Avenue, and had lived there for around three years.

“This is the house we were planning on spending the rest of our lives in,” Rob Williams said. “My wife had decorated it rustic style.”

The Fairfield Fire Department responded to the call of a house fire around 3 a.m.

“We got there just after 3 a.m., and it took around an hour to get the actual fire under control,” said fire chief Scott Vaughan. “After that, we had to do what we call ‘overhaul,’ and just make sure we checked to see if anything was in the ceiling or the walls; we had to make sure all the hot spots were out.”

Although the fire department did not require mutual aid, Vaughan said it took two trucks and 14 firefighters to battle the blaze. The fire was extinguished with water by 6:12 a.m. Units were back in service by 7 a.m.

The home was left uninhabitable, and Vaughan said the American Red Cross Southern Prarie Chapter was called to offer assistance.

Rob, who typically works overnight, said that he wasn’t home when the fire broke out.

Kelly Williams was asleep when the fire started in the garage. She awoke to the sound of a smoke detector over the bed.

“My wife heard the smoke alarms going off above her head and she ran out the front door,” Rob said.

Kelly said she ran to her neighbor’s house and pounded on the door. She said her cellphone was in the garage.

“It was a little before 3 a.m. when she came over ... she was panicked,” said the Williams’s neighbor Jerry Hoover.

Hoover said he called 911 and it wasn’t long before fire and rescue arrived.

“I was pretty impressed with the fire department,” Hoover said. “They hit the ground running when they got there. It was pretty obvious that if they hadn’t got there in time, my house would have caught fire, too. They were spraying my house down to keep it from catching fire. I did have some damages to the westside siding. That will have to be replaced. But I can’t say enough good about them. I noticed that they were even salvaging pictures for the owners. That was a really nice touch that showed humanity.”

Although three of the Williams’s cats were safe, the family’s dog, a black lab named “Reject” did not make it out.

“It’s still really tough,” said the Williams’s son Josh. “They had that dog for 15 years. During the fire and after she ran out of the house, she tried to go back in and get the dog, but they wouldn’t let her because the house was up in flames. She was crying hysterically.”

Josh said his parents had worked very hard all their lives, and that although money could buy new things, there were some things it couldn’t replace.

“My parents have always worked really hard all of their lives, and I don’t know, it’s just tough,” Josh said. “It’s sad because when they bought the house they actually gutted the whole house and renovated it like their own. They actually put their heart and soul into that house ... they spent almost three years collecting core antiques. My dad has really great craftsmanship. What he did to the inside of that house was unreal. It was beautiful. And how well they took care of it.”

Rob said that they plan to rebuild the house in the same spot. Kelly said she’s thankful to everyone who has lent a helping hand to them so far.

“I wanted to thank everyone on Talyor [Avenue], everyone who stopped by. Everyone was so loving,” she said. “The firefighters were also so helpful, and also there were other people who were involved that helped ... I want to thank them.”

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