Fire department crews remove pieces of siding after a fire engulfed a residence at 115 Frank Hilbert Road Wednesday. (Photos by Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press)
JONESBOROUGH — Seventy-eight-year-old Fannie Mae Gosnell, of 115 Frank Hilbert Road in Jonesborough, said she threw a stick into her wood stove after a chilly morning Wednesday before going to take a nap.
Just as she was about to fall asleep, she heard a pop and her smoke alarm go off and soon there was smoke throughout her one-story residence just off Old Embreeville Road.
“I’d just laid down and had almost gone to sleep,” Gosnell said.
After immediately calling 911, the Jonesborough Fire Department arrived on the scene just after 2 p.m. and quickly put out the fire, according to JFD Chief Phil Fritts. He said the fire came out of Gosnell’s stove and overtook about a quarter of her house. Smoke and flames went into the attic.
“The attic concerns us,” Fritts said. “But that house can be fixed.”
Fritts said firefighters had to pull off parts of the siding to go into the walls so they could look for remaining embers. He said if they don’t make sure every bit of the fire is out, sometimes an ember will reignite days later.
Although Gosnell and the fire department crews didn’t see the owner’s cat, Shadow, leave the house, there was no sign of the cat and they were nearly certain it had escaped the house.
Terry Johnson, a local landowner, said he came around the curve on Old Embreeville Road and saw the flames coming out. He immediately opened Gosnell’s door so her cat could get out, which he assumed it had.
Embreeville and Nolichucky Volunteer Fire Departments aided on the scene, Fritts said.
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