DANVILLE — Kim Liles awoke early Monday morning to a loud popping sound. A short time later, she discovered the front room of her home at 216 S. Virginia Ave. was on fire.
The fire gutted the small house on the city's southeast side. Danville fire Lt. Rich Ervin said the cause is still under investigation.
Firefighters were called to the fire at 5:59 a.m. When they arrived, the flames were coming out of the front of the one-story wood-frame structure, Ervin said.
He said five occupants were home at the time, but they were able to escape without serious injury.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about a half hour, Ervin said. They stayed on the scene a couple more hours making sure there were no flare-ups.
Greg Liles said he and his wife and their two children had lived in the house, owned by Flynn Property Management in Danville, for about a year. He said a friend, Chuck Stuller, had been staying with them.
Greg Liles recalled his wife waking him up around 5 a.m. when she heard the noise. But after looking around the house and checking the electrical panel box and finding no problem, he laid back down and fell asleep.
"The next thing I remember, she woke me up again and said the front room was on fire," he said.
His wife had already taken their 4-year-old daughter outside and was running into a back bedroom to get their 1-year-old son. They ran out the back door. Stuller, who had been sleeping in a bedroom at the front of the house, jumped out of a window.
"It's pretty much a total loss, but these are just material things," Greg Liles said as he looked through personal items that had been piled outside in the front yard. "I'm just glad no one got hurt."
Liles said he didn't have any renter's insurance. He said his family was staying temporarily at the American Inn, formerly the Oaklawn Inn, in town.