A Franklin County man pulled his nephew out of his home just moments before it was destroyed Wednesday night (April 17).
The fire sparked just before 7:30 on Watalula Road just outside of Ozark.
Hastings and Janetta Cale, and their 12-year-old son Noah Larrison, were at church when the fire started. However, their 21-year-old son, Zach Larrison, had stayed home to sleep off the stomach flu.
In the middle of the service, Janetta Cale said she saw one of her neighbors come in. That’s when she knew something was wrong.
“She just started hollering your house is on fire,” Jenetta Cale said. “I knew my son was asleep inside and anyway we just flew out as fast as we could.”
Meanwhile, Zach Larrison’s uncle, Terry Jackson, was at home up the road. He watched as flames began shooting out of the roof.
“I’d just sat down in my recliner and I looked through the field and saw the house was on fire,” Jackson said. “So I came back out of the house and ran down here and started beating on [Zach Larrison's] window to wake him up.”
Zach Larrison woke up with just enough time to bust his bedroom window open and make it out of the house.
“If he wasn’t there and he didn’t see it happen I would definitely be in that bed right now dead,” Zach Larrison said.
“Once I got him outside I called 911 and told them the house was on fire,” Jackson explained. “I wanted to get him out first. I wasn’t worried about calling anyone.”
The rest of Zach Larrison’s family raced home, arriving just in time to watch their home burn to the ground.
“On the way home I called him and he said he was out and that he was okay,” Janetta Cale said. “You know we may have lost everything, but we have our family.”
“Just glad the family’s okay,” Jackson said. “That’s been about the only thing I’ve been thinking of today – just glad everyone’s okay. I know they lost everything but they’re okay.”
Zach Larrison did go to the hospital Wednesday night to be treated for cuts and bruises he got while climbing out of the window. He had a total of 10 staples put in his arm.
The family says their home is a total loss. Janetta Cale said she was able to salvage a hard drive that had family photos on it. However, most of the other things in the house were destroyed from the smoke and fire.
The family is staying with relatives for now and says they plan to rebuild their home on the same spot when they can.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.