Fire Claims 30 Year Old Home in Halls

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- A fire this morning left a Halls man without a home tonight. Fortunately he was not inside when the flames broke out in the Temple Acres Sub-division.

Paul Tindell, 71, could not have timed his breakfast better according to his family members.

"I understand that he was up at the Hardees," said Tindell's cousin Ronald Hill. He got out with the clothes on his back, and that's all."

Neighbor David Gosnell placed the call to 911 when he saw the flames from his driveway. After the call Gosnell sprang into action.

"We were concerned Mr. Tindell was still in the house," he said, "and we tried to break the front door down. Black smoke and everything popped on this end and in the garage and it was real black smoke and you hear the popping and explosion going on."

Rural Metro was on the scene within five minutes of Gosnell's call, but by that time the fire had grown fierce.

"There's a lot of collapse hazards." according to Jeff Devlin of Rural Metro. "We had the entire attic space and a good chunk of the second floor of the house on fire when we got here."

The Fire fighters tried to save what they could of the house, but the flames growing too fast and engulfing too much of the home.

"Water supply is not plentiful in this area," Devlin said, "there aren't hydrants every 500 feet, so that caused us a delay."

When the fire was extinguished one fire fighter was in the hospital with minor burns, but fortunately no one was seriously hurt. Investigators think the fire likely started in the garage.

As for Paul Tindell, he lost more than a house this morning, he lost 30 years of memories.

"My father built that house," Hill said, "he's Paul Tindell's Uncle and he built it for him. Our families would meet here and have a Christmas get-together."

For now Tindell is left with nothing but support from his family and friends.

"I don't know if he'll try to rebuild here or not," Hill said. "It's pretty touch on him. He's having health problems too."

In the mean time we are told Tindell will live with his son or daughter.

"I'm sorry for him," Gosnell said, "He had it up for sale and he's been a good man, took care of that property, and been a good neighbor."

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