A teenage boy and family friend, Bob Thompson, narrowly escaped a devastating house fire Friday morning (March 29) at a home in West Fork on Sugar Mountain Road.
”For some reason I woke up around 4 or so and I looked at my TV and it was really smoky so I go out to my door and I open it and there is nothing but smoke and I can barely see but I could see the flames,” said Cody Armantrout, the 15-year-old who jumped from his second story window.
Armantrout said he only had one option if he wanted to escape the raging fire.
”I automatically ran to my window and opened it and went down the roof and jumped off,” he said.
Armantrout said he didn’t let his fear of heights stop him from jumping from the second story to safety.
”It took a lot,” said Armantrout. “I had to sit there for a minute and try to jump off and I couldn’t then I tried again but I couldn’t. But the third or fourth time I got it.”
Armantrout watched his dad build their house from the ground up and Friday he stood watching his home burn to the ground.
“He finally got enough money to do it and he built it,” Armantrout said. “I have seen that house go up from ground up. Every day I would get off the bus and see something new about it, I always liked that. It really hurts me to see it like that. I mean it was a two story house and it doesn`t even look like it was a half a story anymore.”
Armantrout is a freshman this year at West Fork High School. He said the fire was especially difficult for him because his home isn’t the only thing he’s lost over the years.
“About two years ago, I lost my mom to stage four lung cancer,” he said. “They gave her four months to live but she ended up living seven. She lived long enough to take me and my little brother to Disney World and that following week, or week after that, she ended up passing away.”
While his home smoldered in front of him he said it’s more than just a house and belongings.
“I had a lot of her stuff that was special to me in my room and just everything is gone,” he said. “Besides the clothes I`m wearing, I don`t have anything, everything got left.”
A sergeant with the Washington County Sheriff’s office said the teen boy jumped from the second floor of the two-story house on Sugar Mountain Road to escape the fire. Despite the jump, the teen managed to avoid injury as he fled the house.
Crews say the home is a total loss.
The call came in around 4:15 a.m., and by the time the first crew arrived, the home was fully engulfed.
The sergeant said the home was built by the family living there. The homeowners weren’t able to salvage anything inside, and those inside just escaped with the clothes on their backs. The teen told crews he had smoke inhalation, but was not taken by an ambulance and was treated on scene.
The boy’s father, Steve Armantrout, was not home at the time of the fire, and neighbors reportedly called it in. The sergeant said the teen has relatives who live at a property nearby.
After an investigation, the Washington County Assistant Fire Marshal, Tyler McCartney, said the cause of the fire is undetermined.