Neighbors Scramble to Help Put Out Fire

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Shortly after 9:30 Tuesday morning residents along Preston Johnson Road in Leon County saw flames.

Neighbors Betty Hutto and Charlie Murphy were the first to respond.

"The smoke was getting really high and I saw Charlie out here. I had my son Justin to run to the house and get the water hose," says Hutto.

"I was just getting ready for work. I put on some clothing and grabbed the hose. We tried to fight the fire as much as we could. We just did what we could do to help. We are all neighbors and we all do what we can to help one another," explains Murphy.

All of the effort would be to no avail, as the home would become a complete loss with damage ranging in the thousands. Relatives of the owner say he'd just moved in two weeks ago.

"Everything of his was in there. He doesn't have anything left. All of his Christmas stuff he just got and all of his belongings, everything he had was in there," says Casey Henderson, the sister of the fire victim.

Neighbors say the community is very close knit and to see someone lose everything during the holidays is devastating. Those who helped fight the blaze say if they had to they'd do it again.

"It's just the right thing to do. The Lord provides when people are in need," adds Hutto.

Authorities point to a space heater as the possible cause, which brings up a word of caution from firefighters to not keep anything within three feet of a space heater and to never leave a space heater unattended.