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Couple Escapes Blaze After Fire Destroys Duxplex

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Jul 20 2012 06:22:50 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 20 2012 04:01:42 PM CDT
GREENVILLE -

Our crews were on the scene of an early-morning fire in Greenville.

The fire was reported at a duplex located at 304 Tyson St. around 3 a.m. on Friday.

After crews arrived, the flames were contained in just a few minutes. Most fire crews left the scene by 5 a.m., however a handful of fire officials stayed there until 7:45 a.m.

Bridgette Barrett and her husband, Willie, have been renting the home for more than 15 years.  They said they barely had time to escape the flames.

"We came out and just woosh everything just went up. I was asleep. [My husband] woke up because he heard some popping. And I guess it was the windows popping and he woke up and I was in a confused state," Barrett said.

Officials said the fire started from a drop cord near the air conditioning unit. The mattress the couple was sleeping on caught fire next.

"It was fire, literally fire. [There was] a whole lot of smoke. You couldn't see nothing," Barrett said.

Barrett said she managed to make her way out the back door, but not before knocking over the smoke detector near the kitchen. She said Willie came out the front door.

"The smoke really got me but I made my way out of the back door and that's a blessing," she said.

Neighbor Mildred Holland lives next door and said her friend tried to help Willie.

"He pulled Willie out of the house. He was trying to save his mattress he kept telling him let the mattress go let it stay in there. It was shooting up things were popping all in the air it was shooting up bad," Holland said.

Property owner Elmer Leary said he was surprised to get the call from authorities.

"I couldn't believe it to be true because I was just over here [Thursday] and everything was going fine. It's just one of those things we just have to deal with and we will," Leary said.

Fire officials said the home is a total loss. 

The Red Cross is assisting the couple in finding a place to stay as crews investigate.

The pair did have smoke detectors in the home, but officials said through their investigation they concluded that the detectors were not functioning correctly.

The couple does not have renter's insurance but they tell us Mr. Leary is planning to help them with the damage.

*Anna Bulszewicz contributed to the report