Fire leaves family of eight homeless - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fire leaves family of eight homeless

June 13, 2006

Albany--A family of eight is homeless tonight after a fire destroyed their south Albany home.  The fire broke out around 3 P.M. in the twelve hundred block of West Whitney Avenue.

As Fire fighters extinguished the flames to her house, 26-year-old Christen Mansfield stared on in disbelief.

"We just smelt smoke coming from my sister's room. When my brother opened the closet. It was flames everywhere," she says.

The house was home to Mansfield, along with her four children, two brothers, and mother for three years. They tried desperately to save the house from the flames.

"We tried to put it out ourselves,"  she says. Only it was too late. "The flames just got so uncontrollable that we couldn't do anything else. We couldn't save nothing," she says.

"When we arrived on the scene the house looked like it was about two-thirds involved." says fire chief Arthur Dire.  Dire and fire fighters with the Albany Fire Department arrived on the scene quickly.

"They went in, put it out, and got it under control in a matter of five to ten minutes," says Dire.

Right now, the cause of the fire remains unknown.  "Only thing we know is that it started in the bedroom," says Dire.

Despite losing her home and belongings, through it all, Mansfield remains positive.

"I'm just thanking God my kids are okay.  We can always start over," she says.  And plans to waste no time in doing so.

The Red Cross was there to offer help to the family. They say they'll stay with relatives until they find a new place to live.

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