Mt. Vernon Register-News

December 8, 2012

Fire destroys house in Bonnie

By TESA GLASS
tesa.glass@register-news.com

BONNIE — — A home was destroyed by fire Thursday evening.

The two-story home, belonging to James Bayer at 365 W. Helkin Dr., was fully involved in flames when Jefferson Fire Protection District and Mt. Vernon Fire Department fire fighters arrived on the scene after the call came in at 8:21 p.m.

“Fire was coming out of the whole building,” JFPD Chief Mike Huntman said, adding that Bayer was inside the home when the fire started. “He had been asleep at the time, woke up for some reason and was able to get out by crawling through a bedroom window.”

Huntman said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but appears to have started in the living room area.

Litton Ambulance was called to check out Bayer for smoke inhalation, but he refused treatment. At the time the call came in, JFPD was responding to Rome Meadows for an EMS call, and the shift captain called for mutual aid from MFPD to expedite response. Units from both departments arrived at the scene at the same time, Huntman reported.

Huntman said this time of year is a big one for fires in the home, due to portable heaters, Christmas trees and candles.

“We get a lot of fires started during this season because of candles,” Huntman said. “Never leave a candle unattended.”

Huntman also said portable heaters should be placed away from any flammable materials.

“Watch out for drapes, trees and furniture,” Huntman said. “And, if you have a live Christmas tree, be sure to water them regularly. ... If they catch fire, they will go up in the blink of an eye.”

Modern lights are fairly safe to use on trees, but consumers should make sure they are UL tested. LED lights emit low amounts of heat and are good to use on trees.

“Always inspect the lights to make sure there are no frayed cords and pets haven’t chewed on them,” Huntman said, adding not to add too many strings of lights to one outlet. “If it trips your breaker, get rid of all the lights and start over.”