Rome Fire Marshal Mary Catherine Chewning had barely wrapped up her preliminary investigation into a fire at a home off River Pine Drive Wednesday morning when she got a call about a blaze that destroyed a home off Ga. 140 near the Bartow County line.
The two infernos are the most serious since the Nov. 15 fire that claimed the life of Sara Jackson, 47, at 608 Hardy Ave. in South Rome. Coroner Gene Proctor said the crime lab still has not sent back the results of an autopsy and official cause of death for Jackson
The blaze at 12 River Pine Drive apparently ignited late Tuesday night in a bonus family room at the rear of the residence, which Chewning said had been added on to the original structure.
“Firefighters did a fantastic job of getting to the fire and cutting it off before it got up into the attic,” Chewning said. “It may have been a gas heater or something that was placed close to a heater, but right now the cause is still officially listed as unknown.”
Chewning said the home sustained heavy fire damage on the back side of the structure and extensive water damage throughout the residence.
Both occupants were able to escape without injury.
The fire on Ga. 140 — official address 511 Adairsville Road — was called in just before 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. Chewning said that structure was a total loss.
Chewning said the man’s wife was awakened by a smoke detector. The family of four was able to get out of the single-story wood frame home through a window without any injuries.
Chewning said the roof to that home later collapsed, but no firefighters were injured.
The cause of that fire is still under investigation, but it is listed as accidental pending further investigation.
The Fire Marshal issued a reminder to people that, as the weather has turned much colder, it is extremely important not to put a space heater near anything that might be combustible. Chewning also said to make sure any open flames, such as candles, are well extinguished before going to bed at night.