Christmas lights suspected in Trenton house fire - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Christmas lights suspected in Trenton house fire

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TRENTON, GA (WRCB) -- A house fire in Trenton may have been a lot worse, if it wasn't for the fast reaction of fire crews.

The house sits only feet away from a busy gas station -- both were damaged by the intense flames. Only ashes remain from the house, but fire crews were able to stop the fire before it ruined the gas station which was also owned by the homeowner.

More importantly they were able to stop the fire before it hit any gas lines. "I went to bed and this morning when I took my son to school the house was gone," said neighbor Patricia Carlucci, who slept through it all.

Her home on Highway 301 is just 400 yards away from where Kathy's Gas Station burned to the ground. "My initial thought was I broke down crying, that was my initial thought. Like, oh my god just to make sure she's okay."

Thankfully, homeowner Kathy Bolton was out of town. Bolton also owned the gas station next door. When firefighters arrived the fire was already threatening the gas station.

Dade County Deputy Danny Ellis said their main concern was the gas pumps. "We made entry into the store to make sure the gas pumps were off and the fire department arrived and we handed it over to Trenton Fire."

Shortly after, they contacted Bolton who told them she had left the Christmas lights on. Investigators haven't named an official cause, but after ruling out any suspicious activity they believe that's the only logical reason.

Deputy Ellis says never leave Christmas lights on while you're not home and it's always good to buy a timer even if you are home. "A lot of those ratings on those cords aren't for an extended period of time. That current going through can overheat and that's what causes."   

Kathy and her family asked for privacy but told us they do have insurance.

The Sheriff's Office and neighbors like Patricia said they'll do all they can to help. "She helps everybody she just gave donations to help the Dade County wrestling boys. It's heartbreaking but she's, the house can be rebuilt and she's ok, that's what matters."

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