A house fire Saturday left a family without a place to stay. The 2-story home, which was being used as a church parsonage, was located next to Northside Community Church on Mississippi Avenue.
The alarm came in just after 10:30am. While firefighters were battling the blaze, they, and eyewitnesses, saw what appeared to be a backdraft. The flames exploded out of several windows on the first floor, sending glass and other debris 20 to 30 feet away. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control in roughly ten minutes. Damage was contained to the first floor apartment where the pastor and his family lived. The rest of the two-story building, which has an upstairs apartment and some offices, had substantial smoke damage.
The pastor said the fire started in a kitchenette, which was being used to store things. When fire broke out in that room, a smoke alarm alerted the family to the fire. All six family members got out uninjured. Before leaving, the victim said he got a portable fire extinguisher and had most of the fire out, but when the extinguisher was empty, he went to get some water. By the time he returned, the room was engulfed in flames.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Red Cross provided assistance to the family.