By JoEllen Black/Richmond News
A Thursday morning fire destroyed a home in Hardin, but this time residents were able to escape without injury.
Smoke was pouring out of the front door and roof of the home on the 200 block of 3rd Street when Hardin Fire Protection arrived at 10:28 a.m., six minutes after the first 911 call. Resident Elwayne Phillips was standing on the front porch, while a neighbor was navigating his truck to get him inside, according to Assistant Fire Chief John Gilfillan. Phillips’ significant other for 30 years, Lenora Kraft, escaped from the back kitchen door and was helped into a neighbor’s car to keep her warm. Both escaped with just the clothes they were wearing.
“I heard some popping sounds inside the house. It started in the kitchen by my refrigerator. It must have been electrical; no gas on that side of the house,” Phillips, 77, a lifetime resident of the Henrietta-Hardin area, said.
Smoke alarms sounded, Phillips said, but the couple at first couldn’t locate flames. That changed soon as the house filled with smoke.
“It was like gasoline,” Kraft said, explaining how fast the fire grew. It took firefighters an hour to get the fire under control, according to Fire Chief Malcolm Cunningham.