West Knoxville family escapes house fire Thanksgiving morning

West Knoxville family escapes house fire Thanksgiving morning

Posted:
The fire broke out in the garage of the Peppertree Lane home just after 8 am. The fire broke out in the garage of the Peppertree Lane home just after 8 am.
Fire fighters battled the blaze in the garage as it spread to the kitchen and living room while the family stood by. Fire fighters battled the blaze in the garage as it spread to the kitchen and living room while the family stood by.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – One family has much to be thankful for after escaping a house fire Thursday morning.

The fire broke out in the garage of the Peppertree Lane home just after 8:00am.

Firefighters battled the blaze in the garage as it spread to the kitchen and living room while the family stood by.

"I was freaking out I've never had to deal with anything like that," said Malcolm Fontenot.

Fontenot woke up to a popping sound.

"I looked out my window, and I just saw smoke coming from the underneath the gutters," he explained. "I heard like a subtle thundering noise, and I walked towards the garage and reached for the door knob and I grabbed it and it was hot."

He quickly started waking up his family.

"Immediately after I realized I couldn't throw a bucket of water on it to put it out, pulled my phone out and called 911," he said.

The family made it out but someone was missing.

"I probably ran back into the house four times to grab a bunch of different stuff,  I kept going back in to grab my cat but I couldn't find him anywhere," Fontenot said.  

But luckily the firefighters of Rural/Metro came to the rescue, reuniting Kitty with mom. 

"My mom loves that cat, she's glad that he's still here," he said.

Red Cross was on scene to assist the family with shelter and food. According to the organization, on Thanksgiving more house fires happen than any other day of the year.

"We at least see one every Thanksgiving," said Rural/Metro Fire Chief Richard Holbert.

While this one started in the garage, Chief Holbert says it's important to keep fire safety in mind while cooking your thanksgiving meal.

"Everyone has to be careful cooking, especially with grease, if you have a grease fire, be sure not to put water on it. If you're frying turkeys today be sure their well defrosted and dry otherwise it will boil over and cause a fire," he explained.

For Malcom Fontenot and his family, Thanksgiving didn't start off as planned, but they don't plan to let it ruin their holiday.

"We're going to carry on with our regular shindig. We're going to our grandparents," said Fontenot.

On this holiday of thanks, they're simply thankful to have friends and neighbors in their time of need.

"Everything will work out," he said. "It could have been a lot worse."

 

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