Three little girls from West Point are alive today after being saved Monday morning from a fire that shot through the storage room and the attic of a home, which they were asleep in, when the fire began.
According to Kathy Ledbetter, who was renting the 1207 Converse Dr. home owned by Gil Lyon of West Point, a neighbor strolled by and saw smoke billowing from the house, immediately stopped her car and ran up to the home to see if anyone was inside. Ledbetter, who was at work at the time, said the neighbor woke the girls and managed to get them out of the house before the fire began spreading.
“It's a blessing,” Ledbetter said. “Most people probably wouldn't even have stopped. This is a good neighborhood anyway. It's a blessing because my kids were not even awake. The girls are OK. She got them out of the house just in time.”
Two of the girls were Ledbetter's daughters, and one was the daughter of a neighbor.
West Point fire chief Johnny Littlefield said the fire started shortly after 9 a.m. Monday and appeared to have started in the utility room at the back of the house.
“It got really, really hot in there, burned through the ceiling and got into the attic,” Littlefield said. “It spread pretty slowly in the attic, which got some major damage. But I'd say 95 percent of the things in the house are going to be salvageable. Everything in the storage room will have to be replaced. All in all, it could have been so much worse. If it had broken through the roof it would have been bad.”
Firefighters were able to put the fire out quickly, something Ledbetter's brother George Washington said he's thankful for.
“They called me, and I shot down here as quickly as I can,” Washington said. “Thank God the firemen got here when they did. If it hadn't been for a good samaritan riding by, we would have lost the house and my nieces. God works in mysterious ways.”
Washington said he believes there was a serious electrical problem in the house because for the last few months, lights in just about every room of the house would always flicker on and off.
Ledbetter said there is heavy smoke damage in the home as well as moderate damage to some pieces of furniture.
On the scene, seeing the damage and trying to take in everything that was happening, Ledbetter said she was “still shook up” but is grateful to the neighbor for following her instinct, pulling over and going to see if anyone was inside.
“All I could think about were my kids when I got the call, and thank God they're alright,” Ledbetter said.
Littlefield said officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.