By Cynthia M. Jeffries
Sue Bailey watched silently with her hands jammed into the pockets of her green stadium-length coat as volunteer firefighters battled a fire at her home Thursday.
But the volunteers’ lower-pressure hoses and pumper trucks were no match for the blaze. A brick shell and charred remains are all that is left of the house at 127 Dogwood Hill Circle in the Chesterville community.
The fire was reported about 11:40 a.m. Thursday. Bailey had just returned from the grocery store when she saw a little smoke coming from the utility room.
“I didn’t think that much of it at first,” Bailey said.
But when she opened the door, she heard something pop and was met with deep, choking smoke.
She ran across the street to a neighbor’s house and dialed 911.
Firefighters from Belden, Palmetto, Verona, and Furrs departments worked for more than an hour trying to get the blaze under control.
“The fire was all over,” Belden Fire Chief Ray Keith said in describing the house when his department arrived.
Orange flames had already broken through the roof by the time firefighters arrived. Black and gray smoke could be seen from several miles away. A 1985 Toyota Corolla that was parked under the carport was discolored and burned.
Keith said the fire appeared to have started in the utility room. Bailey said she was doing laundry and had left a load of clothes on while she ran to the store.
Officials had not determined a cause for the fire late Thursday.
Bailey and her husband, Sidney, moved into the house 13 years ago when their son Scotty was 6 years old.
“There are so many memories in there,” Bailey said. “I keep thinking about all those baby pictures.”