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Early morning blaze wakes Dawson family

DAWSON, Ga. -- Firefighters with the Dawson and Terrell County Fire departments were called to fight a blaze at 877 Crawford St. here Wednesday.

Dawson Public Safety Director Charlie Whitehead Jr. said he got the call at his home around 3 a.m., and when it was determined the fire was a bad one, the Terrell County Fire Department was called as well. Whitehead said the city of Dawson and Terrell County have a mutual aid agreement in which one agency agrees to help the other.

"It was fully engulfed with flames," Whitehead said of the residence. "Totally destroyed, but the family got out safely."

A witness, Curles Schley, told police that he and some friends were hanging out at a house nearby when he heard the voices of children and then the sound of breaking glass. After moving closer, Schley saw the fire and called 911, his statement read.

Annie Ham, a resident of the burned building, said she had been asleep when her 10-year-old son woke her and warned her of the fire. Ham said she then rounded up the family and got them out of the home.

Whitehead said it's known that the fire started in a back bedroom of the residence, but the origin of the fire is still under investigation.