The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 5, 2013

Accidental fire destroys mobile home, displaces family

By Jean Cole

— A fire in an air-conditioning unit destroyed a mobile home and displaced a family Sunday in the Owens community west of Athens, an official said.

An investigator with the Alabama Fire Marshal's Office determined the fire was accidental, said Steve Holmes, public information officer for the fire marshal's office.

The owner of the home, who was renting it to a family, had asked authorities to call the fire marshal's office to investigate the fire’s origin, an official said.

A Limestone County deputy was dispatched to the scene but did not find anything suspicious and did not file a report, Limestone County Sheriff’s Lt. Jay Stinnett said Monday.

The fire

At 10:11 a.m., firefighters from Owens and West Limestone volunteer fire departments responded to the fire at 21767 Nelson Road, records show.

“It started in the air-conditioning unit, according to what I gathered from my guys,” Owens Fire Chief Gary Lovell said. “It was a total loss,” Lovell said.

Firefighters were on the scene for four hours or more, he said.

Four or five people were living in the home at the time, and Lovell said fire officials called the American Red Cross to assist the lady renting the home, whose name Lovell did not know.

A spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Limestone was not available mid-afternoon Monday to confirm if and how the organization assisted the family.