Bonaire man watching TV when alerted to fire

bpurser@macon.comJanuary 24, 2013 

BONAIRE -- Russell Atkinson was watching TV Thursday when a friend banged on the door and told him to get out of the house because it was on fire.

“I grabbed my medication and ran out,” Atkinson said outside the home at 131 Ben Edwards Road as firefighters were putting out hot spots. Atkinson takes medicine to manage his blood pressure and diabetes.

Houston County fire Chief Jimmy Williams said he suspects the 5:22 p.m. fire started in the attic of the one-story home. The cause remains under investigation, he said.

The fire was contained to the attic but the home suffered water damage throughout, Williams said

Thomas Sheppard, who owns the home, said the fire apparently started within the 15 minutes it took him to run an errand. He arrived with firefighters to see smoking billowing out of the roof.

Friend Johnny Covan, who was helping Sheppard build a barn on his property, had already gotten Atkinson, his roommate, out, Sheppard said. A pet dog and cat also made it out safely. No injuries were reported, Williams said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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