Men Help Couple Escape Burning Home in Midwest; House Destroyed
Two men late Monday night helped a couple get out of a burning house in Midwest, though the house was a total loss and two dogs are believed to have perished.
In a Natrona County Sheriff's Office incident report, Midwest Police Chief Jaime Jones writes that fire -- located at 349 Watson Street -- was reported just before 9 p.m. Monday.
Ronald Hicks, 71, and Teresa Hicks, 62, were able to get out of the house before first responders arrived. They were helped out of the house by Dennis Farris and Chad Peterson.
Teresa Hicks said she and Ronald had been in the living room watching football, when they noticed flames in the room closest to the front door of the home. Ronald called her to get some water to extinguish the flames on the bed, but they were unable to do so.
The fire spread from there. Teresa Hicks said she believed a three-wick candle may have fallen from a nearby dresser onto the bed, causing the fire to start. She said they got out of the house when they realized the fire was spreading too quickly to be contained.
Ronald Hicks told authorities that he and his wife did not use the wood-burning stove, and had gas heat in the house. He said he had not been smoking in the bedroom where the fire began.
He added that the candle he and his wife keep burning in the bedroom was the flame that started the fire. Ronald said he tried to pour water on the flames, but that didn't extinguish the flames completely, and the blaze spread to the mattress.
Ronald Hicks said he tried to remove the mattress from the front bedroom, and that's when the flames spread beyond control.
The Hickses said they did use an electric heater in the front bedroom, but always kept it away from combustible materials.
They were very concerned about whether their two dogs had survived. Authorities explained that the house was a total loss, and the dogs likely did not survive.
Deputies assisted with crowd control and scene security. The American Red Cross was contacted to assist the Hickses following the loss of their home.
Chief Jones did not suspect criminal activity regarding the cause of the fire. The blaze was extinguished and the scene secured at roughly midnight.
But shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday, Jones was called to return to the scene of the fire, as the flames had rekindled and was again actively burning.
Firefighters returned and again extinguished the flames. Jones provided traffic control and scene security until firefighters were finished, shortly after 7:30 a.m.