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Family loses home; candles could be cause

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By Shannon Brock

A local family lost its home in a fire last Thursday.

The home of Richard and Jackie Davenport, located at 1840 Bonds Mill Road, was a total loss, said Anderson County Fire Chief Mike Barnes.

An official cause has not been named, but Barnes said he has an idea of how the fire started.

“I can’t say with 100 percent certainty, but we’re leaning toward candles,” he said.

“With so many people with their power off, we’re really lucky we didn’t see more of that.”

Barnes confirmed that the Davenport home was without power at the time of the fire.

The fire had a head start on the firefighters, Barnes said, adding that it looked like the family had tried to fight it a little themselves.

“But I’m not sure if that was before or after they called us,” he said.

Several inches of snow and ice that had been dropped on the county made fighting the fire more difficult as well, Barnes said.

“The weather didn’t help,” he said.

Firefighters weren’t able to get the trucks up into the family’s driveway, so they had to park on the road and use alternate hoseways. Plus the snow-covered ice made it hard for firefighters to get and keep their footing.

To combat the fire, firefighters filled tankers with water from Salt River, which was full thanks to the snow and preceding rain.

“The upside to the weather is that because of the rain, Salt River was at capacity or a little over,” he said.

Drawing water from the river is “almost normal” for the department, he said.

“We don’t have very many hydrants out in the county,” Barnes said, adding that the closest hydrant to the Davenport’s home was at Four Roses Distillery.

The fire took nearly four hours to put out, he said.

To help the Davenports, a community-wide shower is planned for Sunday, Feb. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Sand Spring Baptist Church, said Velena Harley, a church friend of the family.

The church has set up a money tree for community members who would like to donate, she said.

As far as the shower goes, gift cards are the gift of choice, Harley said, adding that that way, the Davenports can pick out their own clothes, etc.

Harley said she thought the shower would be a good way for the whole community to get involved and lend a helping hand to the family.

“They lost everything and can use anything,” she said.

E-mail Shannon Mason Brock at sbrock@theandersonnews.com.