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Three escape early morning fire

John Thompson • Updated Jul 13, 2017 at 8:03 PM

HAMPTON — No one was reported to be injured in a 2 a.m. house fire on Thursday, but two men had to make a difficult descent down a pole in order to escape from a second-floor room.

Sgt. Mark McClaine of the Carter County Sheriff's Department said Amy Jeanette Fortner, her son, Joshua Aaron Austin, and his friend, Joshua David Deloach, were in the house at 302 Third Ave. when a smoke alarm went off.

McClain reported he talked with Fortner, who said she had not been home from work very long and was asleep when she heard the smoke alarm go off. She said she awoke to find the house filling with smoke.

Fortner said she ran outside and began yelling at the upstairs window to awaken Austin and Deloach. When she got no response from them, she threw a rock at the window.

The men kicked a window air conditioner unit out of the upstairs window and used a pole to climb down the outside of the house.

Chief Johnny Isaacs of the Hampton Volunteer Fire Department told McClain the fire was caused by an electrical problem and started at an electrical outlet in a room behind the kitchen.

McClain said Fortner told him she had been having problems with a circuit breaker switch that had been kicking off recently.

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