Firefighters are continuing to fight a fire at a home on Keebler Lane. (Photo by Becky Campbell/Johnson City Press)
Amanda Beck was on her way home to from work early Tuesday morning when she got the call. A few hours later, Tim Cloyd was on his way home from the store when he received a similar call.
Two homes destroyed by fire — one in Fall Branch and one in Limestone — left two families out in the cold with only the clothes on their backs. Injuries? Yes, but no lives lost.
“He saved all their lives,” Amanda Beck said about her husband, Jonathan, who was at home with their two children at the time of the fire. “He was burned, has lacerations and has broken bones. They were all injured but they’re alive.
“We lost everything,” she added during a phone interview, her voice breaking through tears. “The fire started from the woodstove.”
She was on her way home to 201 Mitchell Ridge Road, Fall Branch, around 6:30 a.m. after a 12-hour shift at Appalachian Christian Village when she got the call.
“He realized the house was smokier than normal,” she explained of how her husband realized there was something wrong. “He opened the door” and discovered heavy smoke and fire, she said.
Jonathan and the couple’s children, 3-year-old daughter, Neveah, and a 2-year-old son, also named Jonathan, were in an upstairs bedroom. With fire and smoke blocking the door, their only way out was a window.
“He was going to grab the kids and run through the house. The flames and heat scorched him,” Amanda said.
Jonathan used his hands and arms to break out the second-floor window — getting numerous cuts in the process — and dropped his children to the ground.
“He dropped the kids out and jumped out the window himself,” she said. All three have fractures and cuts from the fall.
Their daughter has a fractured and splintered femur, Amanda said, which will require surgery to repair. Their son required stitches for numerous lacerations on his sides as well, she said. And Jonathan has a broken wrist or hand. Doctors can’t tell yet because of the swelling, she said.
“He’s very lucky to be alive right now. He really did save them,” Amanda said. “Everything, our whole lives may have burned to ashes but I’m so thankful they’re alive.”
About 3½ hours later, just before 10 a.m., Tim Cloyd, a Greene County EMS paramedic, was on his way home from the store, according to a fire official. Cloyd’s wife was at work.
A neighbor realized the Cloyds’ house at 149 Keebler Lane was on fire and called 911.
Limestone Volunteer Firefighter Tim Jaynes said when the first fire crews arrived on scene, there was fire in both the attic and basement of the house.
With the blaze coming from two locations and the wind making things difficult, firefighters faced a heavy challenge to put out the flames. It took nearly two hours to gain control of the fire because it had spread so much before firefighters arrived.
Another challenge, Jaynes said, was having enough firefighters to battle the wind-driven blaze.
He said daytime fires during the week are harder to fight because volunteer departments are comprised of volunteers who have jobs and often can’t leave to respond.
One solution, he said, is more volunteers.
In addition to the Limestone department, firefighters from Sulphur Springs, Nolichuckey and Jonesborough fire departments responded to the fire on Keebler Lane.
At the Fall Branch fire, Sulphur Springs and Gray also responded to the scene.
The American Red Cross responded to both scenes to assist the displaced families.
Earlier version of story:
Firefighters remain on the scene of a house fire at Keebler Lane in Washington County.
No one was home at the time the fire broke out.
A neighbor reportedly noticed the fire in the attic area of the home and called 9-1-1. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire had been burning for some time, according to authorities.
The blaze reportedly spread all the way to the basement of the home. The roof of the home partially collapsed in the fire, causing difficulties for firefighters battling the blaze. The home is completely destroyed, authorities said.
The Keebler Lane fire is the second residential fire of the day for Washington County firefighters.
Earlier Tuesday morning, a fire broke out at a home on Mitchell Ridge Road in Fall Branch.
There, three individuals had to be transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation after escaping from the residence.
According to authorities, a man saved two children inside the home before getting out himself.
Keep checking JohnsonCityPress.com for more details.
According to firefighters, the home is completely destroyed, however no injuries have been reported.
Firefighters from several volunteer fire departments are on the scene of a house fire in Washington County.
Departments from Jonesborough, Limestone and Sulphur Springs are among those battling the blaze, which started some time after 10 a.m. inside a home on Keebler Lane.
Firefighters remain at the scene trying to put out the fire. The American Red Cross is reportedly responding as well.
We have a reporter on the scene. Keep checking JohnsonCityPress.com for updates.