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March 20, 2014

Early morning fire leaves family homeless

MILLEDGEVILLE —

A Friday morning Colony Farm Road fire left a family of five homeless.

The flames completely destroyed the home rented by David and Jenifer Wimberly. 

The Wimberlys and their three children ages 14, 9 and 6 lost all of their possessions, money, several pets and clothing. Only the family cars survived.

David Wimberly said the fire started between 6 and 6:30 a.m. last Friday.

“My wife and I were still in bed asleep. She could smell the heat from the fire, and she woke me up,” he said. “We opened our bedroom door that leads to the kitchen. We saw the fire coming from the stove area.”

As soon as the parents got their children out of the residence, the trailer “just went up in flames,” according to Wimberly.

The couple visited the hospital due to smoke inhalation. 

Baldwin County Fire Rescue stations No. 1 and No. 4 responded to the 400 block of Colony Farm Road Friday.

Baldwin County Fire Rescue Chief Troy Reynolds said the 1970s built doublewide trailer was a “total loss.”

“The fire was fully involved when the county got there. It was a defensive operation upon arrival,” Reynolds said.

BCFR extinguished the flames and prevent “hotspots” from reigniting other adjacent areas.

Fire investigators determined that the fire began in the kitchen.

Reynolds said the stove was left on to help heat the home. 

“It could have been some radiant heat from the stove that might have ignited something left too close to it,” the county fire chief said. “I don't know how long the stove was on.”

The family didn't have renter's insurance on personal belongings, according to Reynolds.

“They lost everything they had,” he said. 

The Wimberlys lived at the now destroyed residence since June 2013. 

Northside Baptist Church at 1001 N. Jefferson St. is collecting on behalf of the family. 

“They are doing everything they can to help us,” Wimberly said.

Contact the family at 478-737-7992 for more information.

Local fire officials want to remind everyone to check the batteries in household smoke detectors that could also save community lives in the future.

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