FLORENCE — A Sunday afternoon house fire left damage to the front portion of the house and a family of five without a place to stay.
Nobody was injured in the blaze, which occurred shortly after 5 p.m. at 506 N. Royal Ave., although three family members were home when it broke out.
Florence Fire Rescue officials said they are investigating the cause of the fire, which appears to have started in the living room.
Two engine trucks, a ladder truck and heavy-rescue truck responded, and the blaze was knocked down within minutes, firefighters said.
Clint Bailey said he and his two sons were home when he discovered the fire. His wife, Bridget Bailey, and their daughter left to go to the store about 20 minutes before the fire occurred.
Clint Bailey said he was in his room watching a movie and the sons were in another bedroom watching a movie when he smelled smoke.
He looked toward the living room and noticed it was very bright.
“I ran in there and flames were shooting up from behind the couch,” Clint Bailey said.
He ran into the room where the boys were and ushered them out of the house. They all left, and Clint Bailey moved his vehicle and a vehicle he uses for work away from the scene, damaging their front fence in the frenzied process.
This already was a difficult time for the family. Clint Bailey’s stepfather died this weekend in Texas. “We’re supposed to be going to Texas to bury my dad,” he said.
The family also wonders where they’ll stay while the damage is repaired. They moved here from Texas less than four months ago because Clint Bailey was transferred here.
“We’re still new so we don’t know anybody here,” he said. “I’m not sure what we’ll do.”
After the fire was extinguished, the family watched while firefighters searched for the cause and investigated the damage. Some residents stopped by to introduce themselves and offer help. They stayed for a long time, comforting the family and exchanging phone numbers so they could help out.
The American Red Cross also was notified.
The Baileys said they are a close-knit family and that will help them during this time. Sidewalk-chalk art covered the driveway. “I love you mom and dad” was among the scribblings produced by the children.
Bridget Bailey said the fire ruined a great deal that had been accomplished to the house.
“We’ve been remodeling,” she said. “We have worked so hard.”
Then she looked at her husband and children. “But everyone’s OK. That’s what matters.”
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.