VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) – As of right now, WALB has discovered that a cell phone was the source of the house fire that forced a family of three to flee their home on Monday night.
While walking WALB’s Brittany Blake through the damaged house, Marylin Watson sobbed as she observed her family photos encased in ash and hidden in rubble.
They have vanished, all of them, and are scattered around the floor. I have pictures of all of my children and grandchildren there. Well, they’re all gone; I have none left,” Marylin remarked.
Marilyn Watson hurried into the bedroom to assist her grandson in putting out the fire when it spread across the bed in the rear bedroom, which had been sparked by a cellphone spark. Then, she made a call to her husband telling him to leave the house.
Johnny Watson recalled, “I blacked out, smoke was all over my lungs, and the ambulance came to give me oxygen and they said we have to go, so we went to the emergency room.”
The family’s alarm system allowed for prompt notification of the fire service, and the first fire unit responded in 4 minutes. According to a statement from the Valdosta Fire Department, a bedroom window was spewing thick smoke and flames when the firefighters arrived at the residence. In just a few minutes, they contained the fire.
The Watsons managed to get away safely, all three of them. “To tell the truth, God was always a part of the plans,” Johnny remarked.
In addition to short-term recovery choices like direct cash aid and disaster health, mental health, and spiritual services, the Red Cross is assisting with the family’s resource coordination.
“You can get stuff like this back, but the pictures of all my kids, I can’t get back…oh Lord,” Marylin exclaimed.
Pastor Johnny Bradley stated, “We are happy to be here with them and help give them comfort as they continue to go through this situation.”
The Watson family reported that they are doing well and that they need prayers from the community while they heal from this tragic fire.
Donations can be deposited at Valdosta’s 2300 Camden Circle. The Valdosta Fire Department is currently looking into the fire’s official cause.