Small Town News

Disaster and Accident

Fire fighters from three units couldn't save home

The Democrat Reporter of Linden, Alabama

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Annie Bates wasn't home on Thursday, Jan. 28, at around 11:15 a.m., when her home caught on fire and was totally destroyed.

Mrs. Bates said she was devastated to arrive and see that her home for the past 42 years was completely gone. Mrs. Bates was living in the residence with her grandson Chris Phillips.

Chris stated "I went out to the woodpile to get some wood for the heater. When I turned around I saw a lot of smoke. When I went back into the house there was even more. It looked like it was coming from a pipe."

Phillips tried to put dirt on the heater, but the smoke was now pouring out from the wall. Phillips tried to spray water on the house with a garden hose, but the fire was already in the roof. "It was all very fast," claimed Phillips.

The residence was originally a trailer that was bought in 1969; however, in 1985, Annie's husband built an addition to the home.

Volunteer members of Marengo County Fire and Rescue, Linden and Old Spring

Hill fire departments tried to salvage the buildings. First on scene, was Marengo County with two trucks, then Linden brought a truck, and Old Spring Hill arrived with one of its trucks.

Over 40,000 gallons of water was used, however, firefighting efforts were ceased for seven minutes after ammunition from inside the back room started to burst. Black Warrior Electric came and disconnected the live power lines to the residence, and firefighters continued to spray down the propane tank that was sitting next to the house. The grass surrounding the home had started to burn. However, it was quickly extinguished.

Water was also used to keep the several sheds from burning as well. One of the firefighters said, I could see the smoke from the house all the way from Linden Lumber on 43.

Mrs. Bates was very upset about losing her home. "I raised my four children there. All of our memories and pictures are gone."'

The Bates family has close ties to the community and a strong family support to help her through this hardship.

Copyright 2011 The Democrat Reporter, Linden, Alabama. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: February 3, 2011

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