HAMILTON - A series of unfortunate events led to a blaze that destroyed a house nine miles east of Hamilton on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
The owner of the house, Terry Hamlett, said he was working on his lawn mower in the garage when the conflagration started.
“I was cleaning the carburetor on the lawn mower and the dog knocked over the little pan of gasoline that I was using to clean the fuel filter and about that time, the lawnmower backfired and the carburetor caught fire,” Hamlett said. “I may have put too much gas in it.”
Hamlett said his cell phone was at a neighbor’s house and he ran to get the phone. “By the time I got there and back, that house was gone. I haven’t ever seen something catch up so fast,” Hamlett said.
According to a Hamilton Fire Department report, the fire call came in at 11:42 a.m. and the first units arrived on the scene 14 minutes later. The house is three miles outside the Hamilton City limits, but in the department’s coverage area. The department dispatched five apparatus and 10 personnel, according to the report.
Hamlett has lived in the house for about 12 years, he said. He lived in the house with his grandson, 16, who attends Hamilton High School. Hamlett said he was able to salvage some of his grandson’s clothes from the house before it went up in flames.
Hamlett said his daughter moved out Wednesday, Oct. 17, to live in a cabin near Donaldson Correctional Facility in rural Jefferson County where her husband is employed.
Hamlett said his daughter and son-in-law were still storing clothing and personal items in the house.
See complete story in the Journal Record.