Joyce Walls is grateful for the offers of assistance that have poured in since a fire leveled her home at 2383 New London Road Monday night, even though she is having to turn most of them down.
Walls was at home when a fire broke out in the kitchen. Daughter Kimberley Brand said Walls was getting ready to cook supper when she left the kitchen to check on some work that had been done by a contractor earlier in the day.
Grandson Talon Walls, who lives in the home, arrived before 5 p.m. to find the stove on fire. At about the same time, a smoke alarm sounded. Talon, a student at Henrietta High School, said he got his grandmother out of the house, then called 911 and attempted to go to the second story of the house to gather what he could. Unable to go up the stairs, Talon accessed the second story from outside, said Brand.
Talon was in search of his grandmother’s dogs. He rescued one dog, but three are still missing. The family believes another dog seen outside might have ran back into the house.
Brand said help in locating any dogs that might have survived the fire is needed.
Greg Brooks, a neighbor, was putting out hay when he noticed the fire. Brooks said he drove to the house, arriving at about the same time as Henrietta Volunteer Fire Fighter Michael Koetter. Koetter was in his personal vehicle, and moved a vehicle threatened by the fire out of the driveway.
The fire was reported at 4:53 p.m. When fire fighters arrived, the house was fully engulfed. By 6 p.m., the house had burned to the ground.
“When I turned onto New London Road, I could see the second story was burning. When I topped the hill, the second story had already collapsed,” said Henrietta Fire Chief Mike Roberts.
With the house lost, fire fighters concentrated first on an outbuilding used to store gas cans and a propane tank, as well as saddles and tack. Fire fighters were able to extinguish the building, and much of the tack and saddles were saved.
Fire fighters from Henrietta, Bellevue and Jolly responded to the blaze.
Joyce Walls has another daughter and grandson, Lynn and Dustin Anderson, who also lived in the house. Both work in Jacksboro and had not yet come home when the fire broke out. Talon’s mother, Kelly, is in the U.S. Army and deployed to Germany.
Joyce Walls is staying with Brand for the time being. Brand said that they have been inundated with people offering donations to the point that if Walls accepted she would have no place to put them.
Walls had homeowners insurance and met with an adjuster Tuesday. The family has received clothing vouchers from the American Red Cross.
Joyce Walls had lived in the home for 34 years.