Flames ripped through two homes in Mt. Juliet Tuesday morning. The homeowner of the second fire was on a ride-along with Wilson Emergency Management Agency and responded to the fire at his own house.
According to WEMA Director John Jewell, the first fire was on Whitnel Drive, off Nonaville Road. He said WEMA received the call at 12:15 a.m., and Station 3 firefighters were first on the scene.
Battalion Chief Lee Bowling said when firefighters arrived they observed "heavy smoke" coming from the basement garage.
"As soon as we could, we entered the garage and saw heavy flames and smoke," said Bowling.
It took firefighters 30 minutes to get the fire under control, but the portion of the house above the garage received extensive water and smoke damage.
Bowling said a husband and wife, their young son and two pets were in the home when the fire broke out. The family escaped.
"The dad told me he was able to save one dog, but a second pet perished in the fire," said Bowling.
Station 6 out of Laguardo and Mt. Juliet Station 3 also responded to the fire, as well as a water tanker out of Lebanon.
The cause remained under investigation.
A second family had to evacuate their Mt. Juliet home on Cardiff Lane in the Chandler Pointe subdivision Tuesday around 9 a.m. EMT student Tracy Combs was riding with WEMA firefighters when his wife called to say their house was on fire, according to WEMA Lt. David Cross, who was at the scene.
"When we arrived, there were heavy flames coming from the entire front side of the structure," said Cross. "The woman and her daughter and a friend woke to smell smoke and got out."
He said the roof collapsed, and he had to get the firefighters out of the structure at that time and fight it from the outside.
"We had it knocked down in about an hour," he said. "Both houses on each side sustained some damage."
WEMA firefighter Jamie Luffman responded to the fire.
"We were able to find the family cat in the structure," he said. "We found it behind a couch chair. In the entire house, that was the only place that little cat could have survived."
The house was destroyed and remained under investigation with no known cause.
Managing Editor Laurie Everett can be reached at 444-3952 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.