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Fire destroys Gladewater home

By Sarah Thomas
Jan. 16, 2014 at 11 p.m.

GLADEWATER - A home was destroyed Thursday afternoon when fire erupted in the 500 block of Wood Street. The front half of the home was engulfed in flames when crews arrived shortly before 2 p.m.

The flames spread throughout the home within minutes, igniting a pine tree in front of the home and an adjacent portable storage unit.

Shortly after crews arrived, a loud explosion could be heard from within the residence as a small propane canister went airborne. The charred cylinder landed in the intersection of Wood and Martha streets, about 45 feet from the home.

Gladewater Fire Chief Wayne "Snuffy" Smith said the fire was able to spread fast because the mobile home's metal exterior "turned it into an oven."

"Who knows how long it's been burning inside there before it finally got hot enough to break out," he said.

An AEP Southwest Electric Power Co. employee was called out to cut the power to a line that was hanging in the yard after the blazed burned it in half.

The fire is being investigated. The cause remains unknown, and no injuries were reported.

Smith said the homeowner was out of town when the fire started. He said he didn't know how many people lived in the home.



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