WILLIAMSON – Fire destroyed a home on a steep hillside just off of Prichard Street in Williamson early Tuesday morning. The 911 call came in around 4:00 a.m. to the wood-framed house located behind the Episcopal Church.
The dwelling is the former home of the late John Hatfield and his family, a former principal at Williamson Elementary School, according to Williamson Fire Department (WFD) Chief Joey Carey.
“Fire was coming out of the first and second floor windows when we arrived on the scene,” Carey said. The blaze had gotten a good start before someone noticed it and called for the fire department. The house was a total loss.
Carey tried to reach the Hatfield family early Tuesday and was finally able to get in contact with William “Bill” Hatfield around 9:30 a.m. Neighbors had told Carey that the house had been for sale and that Bill Hatfield, one of the sons of John Hatfield, had recently been at the home and stayed there from time to time.
Bill Hatfield told Chief Carey that he in fact had been living in the home, but was currently in North Carolina visiting his brother.
The WFD responded with three fire trucks and 14 firefighters.
The Chattaroy Volunteer Fire Department responded with a truck and three men to provide mutual aid.
“We had to drag hoses up from Prichard Street about 300 feet,” Carey added, talking about the steep locale of the home. “We also ran a hose from above the home on Little Oak Street. That was about 150 feet away from the fire.”
Firefighters had the blaze under control in around 30 minutes, according to Carey.
Carey said at this time the cause of the fire is undetermined. However, he suspects that it was either electrical or possibly a faulty heating unit that could have been the source of the fire.
“I do not suspect anything suspicious,” Carey added.
The WFD expected to be at the scene of the fire much of Tuesday morning, continuing to put out hot spots.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)