A Smithville man received burns and smoke inhalation while escaping from his home which caught fire around midnight on Pine Grove Road.
Central dispatch received the call at 12:08 a.m.
County Fire Chief Donny Green says Jerry Williams of 161 Pine Grove Road was in his bedroom watching television when a fire started in the kitchen. "Shortly after midnight we got a call to go to 161 Pinegrove Road off the Cookeville Highway to a reported structure fire. When we got there we realized that we had a victim and DeKalb EMS was already there treating him. He was apparently the occupant of the home. He lived in his daughter's house. His name is Jerry Williams. He was in the back bedroom watching television. His dog started barking erratically. Williams smelled the smoke and then he opened the bedroom door to investigate what was going on and realized that the house was full of smoke. So he had to get down on his knees to crawl up the hallway to the back of the house where the kitchen was. He saw the kitchen was on fire and he had to go out a door. In the process of getting out, he received some burns to his back, hands, and arms. Also during the course of exiting, he apparently had some respiratory injuries due to breathing in the super heated air. So EMS was treating him and it's my understanding they transported him to DeKalb Community Hospital and he was later transferred to Vanderbilt Hospital. We don't know exactly what caused the fire. We know it started in the kitchen and it's still under investigation. The home was totally destroyed. When we got there the whole back end of the house had fire coming out of the windows and out of the roof. We attempted to make entry through the front to put out the fire but it was already too involved. We had to do an exterior attack just to keep it from spreading to other properties there." Two dogs and a parrot were also lost in the blaze.
Members of the Cookeville Highway, Short Mountain Highway, Midway, and the Main Stations of the DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department responded along with DeKalb EMS and the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department.