"Fire destroys house, leaves owner homeless"

"An early morning fire Thursday destroyed a Scatchet Head Road home and left a Clinton woman homeless.According to Fire Protection District 3 Chief Don Smith, Jenny Nessinger heard a popping noise at around midnight Thursday in one of the back rooms of her double-wide manufactured home. When she investigated, she found that fire had erupted. She tried to douse the fire with several pans of water, but was unable to stop the flames. She then called 911 to report the blaze. Told by the 911 dispatcher to exit the residence, she fled the home without injury.By the time FD3 personnel arrived at the fire shortly after midnight, the house was fully engulfed by flames. Chief Smith said the house, which was probably built in the 1970s, could not have been more flammable. He said the structure's thin wall board and 1x3 construction was perfect fuel for the fire.It was a death-trap construction style, he said.Firefighters had the blaze under control within minutes of opening the nozzles on their hoses. However, Smith said, it took several hours to fully extinguish the fire because Nessinger had so many possessions inside the house. Nessinger was renting the house at the time of the fire. Smith estimated the total loss of the structure and Nessinger's possessions at approximately $70,000. He said the probable cause of the fire was an electrical short circuit. Nessinger was awake at the time of the fire. Smith said that had she been asleep, she might not have escaped with her life. He reminded renters and homeowners to make certain they have working fire detectors in their homes. Landlords are required to provide renters with fire detectors. "

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