Heard County Fire Chief Scott Blue stated in a phone interview Thursday afternoon that the cause of the house fire at 59 Welcome Road early Wednesday morning will likely remain undetermined.
“We don’t have any cause yet. I probably won’t even try to dig around in there yet, because it is still kind of warm in that area as far as looking for anything. To be honest, I am going to be real surprised if I find a cause… there was just that much damage there. My intention is tomorrow, if I can break loose from some other things, to try to get a little time up there to dig around.”
Blue added that he had no reason to suspect arson at this point. ”It is not suspicious. There is nothing there to indicate that this fire was an incendiary fire. I
don’t see anything that looks suspicious.”
Blue reported that the owner of the residence was Vannie Nguyen. Red Cross was called in to help Nguyen and his displaced family. No pets were in the home.
According to the chief, the owner stated that his family had just left the home at around 5:00 a.m. to travel to Atlanta. The fire was called in to 911 at 5:34 a.m.
Nearby neighbors reported being awakened by a loud explosion. “My kids and I were all awakened by a very loud explosion-like sound,” stated Brian Freeman, the closest neighbor to the house. “I though it was thunder and might be raining until I saw a glow over at the neighbor’s house and realized what was happening.”
The structure was a total loss as well as numerous vehicles that were located on the property. Vehicles claimed by the fire included a 2008 Ford F-150, a 2011 Toyota Tacoma, a 2004 Ford Focus, a 1997 Ford F-250, and a 2005 Massey Ferguson tractor.