By Andy Alcock
July 26, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - A candle is believed to the cause of an early morning house fire in Tallahassee.
Firefighters were called to the home in the 1700 block of Keith Street just after 5 this morning.
Kimberly Leland was asleep in the house when she was awakened by the smoke.
She rushed down the block to her cousin Brittany Jones' home.
"She just lost everything," said Jones. "She ran down here in nothing but a shirt, so really all she had was what was on her," she said.
Jones says they returned to watch firefighters battle the blaze.
Firefighters not only started extinguishing the flames, they searched for occupants and discovered no one was inside.
One firefighter suffered minor burns, was treated and then released from the hospital.
"All I saw were these big open flames like on top of her house and it took like four or five fire engines to get it under control," said Jones.
"It was just terrifying," she said. "I would never want not even my worst enemy to go through what she had to go through," Jones said.
As bad as the fire was, a major tragedy was avoided.
Kimberly Leland managed to escape.
Her cousin says she's also the mother of 9 young children who were all staying with other relatives when the fire broke out.
"I just thand God that they weren't in the house," said Jones.
Jones tells us just two weeks ago, Leland had another small fire at her home when a stove fire torched the kitchen cabinets.
Jones also tells us the Red Cross is putting up Kimberly at a local hotel.
She says Kimberly didn't have renter's insurance and lost all her possessions in the fire.
Press Release: Tallahassee Fire Department
At 5:14 this morning the Tallahassee Fire Department was alerted to a house fire in the 1000 Block of Keith Street.
Firefighters were met with heavy smoke and fire when they arrived on scene and immediately began extinguishing the fire while searching the building for occupants.
It was soon discovered that the occupants had escaped the fire before the fire department arrived on scene. It was determined that the fire was started by a candle causing approximately $80,000 in damage.
LCEMS was on scene to assist with the occupants and Tallahassee Police Department was also on scene and assisted with traffic control.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries during firefighting operations and had to be taken to the hospital. The firefighter is expected to make a full recovery.
Red Cross was called to assist with the two adult occupants that resided at the residence.