Johnson Home Destroyed In Fire

A house was destroyed after a grass fire apparently spread to the Johnson home Wednesday (Feb. 19), officials said.

Authorities said the homeowners believe a grass fire behind the house might have caused the fire, but officials have the incident under investigation and are unsure of the cause at this time.

There were no injuries reported in the house fire at 2711 Foxwood Drive, although the homeowners told 5NEWS they feared the family’s three cats—Smokey, Sadie and Butcher—might have died in the fire. Property records indicate the house is owned by Lyle Randall Smith and Mildred Dort Smith.

Fire officials said winds of up to 22 miles per hour fueled a grass fire behind the house, making it hard for firefighters to approach the house.

“Crews made an initial attack on the home, but due to the wind, they were pushed back out of the structure, and then immediately went in and started protecting the structure,” said Todd Andrews, assistant fire chief for the Johnson Fire Department.

Andrews said crews had the fire under control in 45 minutes.

Nathan Higgins said his mother and father in-law are the homeowners. Higgins said what happened scared him.

“You never expect these sort of things to happen to you,” he said. “It’s always somebody else you see. It’s hard.”

The fire spread to neighboring homes, causing what officials said is only minor damage.

Christa Culwell lives two doors down from the house that caught fire. The fire burned Culwell’s backyard and did minor damage to her home.

“I feel bad for my neighbors,” Culwell said. “The damage to our home is nothing compared to what happened to them.”

Authorities said smoke detectors were in the home and were working when crews arrived.


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