Several Pets Killed in Angelina County House Fire - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

09/27/06 - Angelina County

Several Pets Killed in Angelina County House Fire

by Ramonica R. Jones

The fire that gutted Kathy Marshall's house Tuesday started in the area near the circuit breaker box inside her home. A short in some electrical wiring could be to blame.

Neighbor and former volunteer firefighter, Dottie Vaughan, said, "She had some dogs on the patio so we went over there to let the dogs out, and by that time it was just fully engulfed in flames."

Marshall was not home when the fire broke out, but three of her five pets were killed. One of her surviving dogs is in an animal hospital with burns and smoke inhalation.

Her neighbors in the Charity Smith community are bringing in a 40-foot travel trailer for her to live in temporarily. Some of them believe her home could have been saved with a quicker response from fire fighters.

"You had Etoile coming, you had Zavalla coming, you had Ora coming," said Anissa Parrott. "I just think the response should have been a lot quicker than what it was; if there wouldn't have been so much confusion with the dispatchers and the fire people."

Huntington volunteer firefighters got to the scene in just 12 minutes, but the other crews had trouble finding the burning house. Authorities said that did not affect how quickly the fire got put out.

Huntington Fire Chief Jerry LaSalle said, "It was up in the attic and there's three ceilings plus a double roof, and when the fire got up in the attic, we just couldn't get to it."

The people who live out in the Charity Smith community said Tuesday's fire was the fourth home to burn to the ground in that area in the last two years.

Kathy Marshall had no insurance on her home and lost everything in the fire. Monetary and gift card donations can be made to Huntington State Bank on her behalf.

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