Multiple agencies responded to a house fire on Welcome Lane in Cleveland in the early morning hours of Thursday, Oct. 3.
White County Fire Services, with automatic aid from the Cleveland Fire Department, Helen Fire Department and Lee Arrendale Fire Brigade 1, responded to the report at 1:30 a.m., said White County Public Safety Director David Murphy. The homeowner told 911 that the occupants could see smoke and flames, and were leaving the house.
When firefighters arrived, the 3,500-square-foot home was in flames. Emergency responders extinguished the fire, then began to salvage and overhaul the home, Murphy said. This included removing personal items from the residence to prevent further damage.
State fire investigator Brian Smith determined that the fire appeared to have started in the area of the outdoor deck where the owner was using a Big Green Egg grill a few hours prior, Murphy said. The owner stated they left the fire burning in the grill with the lid closed after removing their food. It appeared that the fire burned up the back wall of the house and into the attic area.
White County CERT REHAB team responded to the scene to assist the homeowners and firefighters. The homeowners declined assistance from the Red Cross because they have family in the area, Murphy said.
There were no injuries reported. Firefighters were on the scene for 9½ hours, he said.