A Greenwood couple fled their home with their four grandchildren after a fire early Sunday morning destroyed the house.
Homeowners Larry and Lola Smith and their grandchildren were inside the two-story home when the fire started after 2 a.m. All six people were able to get out of the house before firefighters arrived, neighbor Reneé Swisshelm said.
Neighbors awoke to fire-truck lights and loud pops as the blaze spread through the Greenwood home in a neighborhood off of Fry Road, east of State Road 135.
The fire started in the garage of the home at 535 Oakridge Way, and flames spread to the second floor and the attic. The home also had smoke and water damage all over, Greenwood Fire Chief James Sipes said.
The home is a total loss, Sipes said. The flames also caused damage to a shed next door, a neighbor said.
Fire officials are still determining the cause of the fire, Sipes said.
Firefighters were called to the home at 2:23 a.m. Sunday when Larry Smith smelled smoke in the house, he said.
Larry Smith heard noises coming from the garage, opened the garage door to see what was going on and was pushed back by the pressure of the fire, Swisshelm said.
He then woke up the rest of his family and got them out of the house, Swisshelm said.
The Smiths and their grandchildren stayed in Swisshelm’s house while firefighters put out the blaze and are now staying with family members, she said.
Neighbors of the couple said they heard loud pops coming from the home during the fire. Fire officials are still investigating what may have caused the noises neighbors reported, Sipes said.
Casey Temple, who lives four houses away from the Smiths, said he was watching television at the time the fire started and felt his house shake after hearing the loud pops.
David Hutcheson, who lives next door to the Smiths, said he woke up when another neighbor was banging on his door. The neighbor had also heard the noises and wanted to make sure Hutcheson knew what was going on, Hutcheson said.
The fire burned the back side of Hutcheson’s shed, he said.
Firefighters spent about a half hour putting out the fire, which caused extensive damage to the garage and a vehicle parked in the garage.
Firefighters were able to save a few items from the house and rescued the couple’s dog, Mason, Swisshelm said.