South Albany home destroyed by fire, man jumps out window - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Albany home destroyed by fire, man jumps out window

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – A Dougherty County family is homeless after a fire roared through their home.

Investigators say it started in a kitchen on Southgate Avenue around 5 o'clock Thursday afternoon as one man slept inside.

"It just went up so fast," said neighbor Sharita Thornton.

Firefighters found the Southgate subdivision home fully involved. Neighbors frantically called 911 when they saw smoke pouring from the house.

"At first I thought it was leaves burning. But then, when I saw the smoke getting blacker, I knew it couldn't be leaves," said Thornton.

She ran across to the street to see if anyone was inside and it turned out someone was.

"A younger guy was in the house. He kicked the screen out and came out the window," she said.

The 20-year-old man escaped without injury. Fire officials say he is the grandson of Loddie Thomas who owns the home.

"I asked the occupant if he was alerted by the smoke detector and he said no the he just woke up and found the fire," said Albany Fire Battalion Chief Kelly Harcrow.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to get the blaze under control. Once the hot spots were extinguished, they began their investigation into the cause.

"The majority of the fire is in the kitchen area. All indications from our investigation right now looks like the fire started on or around the stove," said Harcrow.

The flames spread quickly throughout the house causing extensive fire and smoke damage. Fire officials say this is just one of many fires recently believed to have started in the kitchen.

"One word of advice - any time you're cooking in the kitchen don't leave - stay with it and make sure you're paying attention to what's going on," Harcrow said.

Officials say Thomas shared the home with her two grandsons. Only person was at home when the fire started.

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