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Fire destroys family home

Staff Report

A 4th of July fire at Hudson Place in Tallassee destroyed a garage apartment that housed a local family. The blaze began shortly after 7 p.m. and was fully engulfed when fire trucks arrived. No one was hurt.

Tallassee and Friendship Fire Departments initially responded.

"(Although) the fire consumed the living space in the structure, crews still managed to save property," Tallassee Fire Department Chief Travis Jones said. "Due to the building's construction and heat conditions the fire reached third alarm status, meaning crews from Eclectic, Reeltown, Emerald Mountain, Red Hill, Santuck, Kowaliga and Wetumpka were called to assist."

The Learning Lodge daycare is located next to the property and had no damage. Betty Watkins also lives nearby.

"My house is not damaged," she noted on a Facebook post the night of the fire. "It's 10:34 and the fireman are still working. Everyone got out of the (apartment). Thanks to Tommy Emfinger with his ladder."

Emfinger owns the property that was being lived in by Martelle Johnson and his family.

"I just want to say thanks to everyone that came to check on me and the family," Johnson said. "Thanks to all of the fire departments that showed up. I’m only terrified of two ways to die and one of them almost happened yesterday. We all got out but lost everything in the fire."

The family is accepting donations and clothing for children and adults through the Learning Lodge. A GoFundMe page has also been set up.

"Thanks to everyone reaching out and insisting on helping anyway possible," Johnson added.

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