'Material things can be replaced, but lives can’t:' Decatur fire damages multiple homes

A woman's home is destroyed from a fire that impacted five homes Monday morning.

Posted: Sep 30, 2019 8:09 PM
Updated: Sep 30, 2019 8:13 PM

WAAY 31 got a look inside a home that has significant damage from a fire in Decatur.

The early Monday morning fire damaged five homes on Clark Street.

The fire destroyed one neighbor's home and she took us inside to see all of that damage.

A woman's mother lived in the home that was destroyed. She showed us the remains from the fire and what it looked like inside.

“The fire was in the attic and made it all collapse right here. They say that this is the safe wall right there, so that’s why it didn’t come through the wall," she said.

In a town home next to where the fire broke out, the damage is severe. She showed us the garage, kitchen and pantry ceilings have collapsed, creating a pile of mush on the floors.

The woman who lives there didn't want to go on camera, but her daughter told WAAY 31 her mom woke up to the smell of smoke and noticed a fire in her pantry.

She then noticed her neighbor's car and home on fire and called 911. She then alerted her neighbors to get outside.

Five townhomes were impacted by the fire early Monday morning. Two of the homes are severely damaged.

Neighbors described what they woke up to.

“I woke up to a popping sound and I kept hearing a popping sound and when I got up and looked out and when I looked out the window, all I saw was flames," said Tracee Brown, a neighbor who lives nearby.

The woman who allowed us inside her home will stay with family in Hartselle for now. Neighbors are just glad the fire didn't hurt anyone.

“Material things can be replaced, but lives can’t," said Louise Hughs.

We still don't know what caused the fire. We did ask the fire marshal if the dry conditions in this drought contributed to the fire's spread, but he said it likely did not and that fires spread quickly in townhomes.

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