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Fire guts home, no injuries reported

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- Cooking food left on a stove ignited a $60,000 blaze in a single-story home at 509 Southgate Ave. at about 4:45 p.m. Thursday, an Albany Fire Department official said.

Firefighters had the blaze under control at 5:08 p.m., said Battalion Chief Kelly Harcrow. There were no injuries in connection with the fire.

"We estimated $60,000 in damages, including contents," Harcrow said. "A 20-year-old man in the house woke up to the fire. He was the only person home at the time. He escaped. He said he wasn't cooking."

The home's owner, Lottie Peterson, said her son-in-law Tony Marshall was in the home. When she returned to the fire-gutted residence at about 5:20, she fell to her knees.

A group of family members, including Marshall, comforted her as she rose from the shock. Her grandchildren, who live with her, were safe, Marshall told her.

According to Harcrow, Peterson had just left the home with the younger of her grandchildren when smoke began wafting from the residence.

Next door, Margaret Marshall said she was watching television when she heard sounds like a boom followed by pops. She went to the window and saw flames and smoke reaching out of her neighbor's home.

"I'm disabled, so I was home," Margaret Marshall said. "When I saw the smoke, I called 911."

About 12 firefighters doused the blaze, Harcrow said. At least three firetrucks, including an aerial or ladder truck, and emergency personnel from Dougherty County EMS, along with Dougherty County Police Department officers, responded to the fire.