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Thursday night fire destroys local nurse’s home

Thursday night fire destroys local nurse’s home


The family home of local nurse Julie Whittaker was destroyed by fire Thursday night.

What started as a grease fire quickly spread to a back hall and into the attic, according to Latham Fire Chief Gary Reagan. The one story brick home is a total loss.

“They’ve got bricks and a lot left,” Reagan said. “It’s bad.”

The Latham Fire Department received the call of a fully involved fire at 1250 Billingsby Rd. about 8 p.m. Whittaker and family tried to extinguish the fire themselves from inside the house, Reagan said.

“It was so smoky they couldn’t do it,” he added.

Latham sent 18 firefighters to the scene. The Martin Fire Department responded with mutual aid of Engine No. 8 – a tanker – and four firemen. At least three firefighters from Dresden responded, Reagan said.

The Latham department was on scene until about 2 a.m. Friday extinguishing lingering hot spots from the blaze. Low water supply in the area added to the delay, Reagan said.

“It’s tough here at Christmas time to lose a home,” he added.

Whittaker, a nurse at Martin Pediatric, lived at the home with her children, according to her employer.

A donation box is being set up at Snappy Tomato Pizza in Martin, and an account is being set up at 1st State Bank in Martin. Donations can also be made at Martin Peadiatric. Needed clothing sizes are women’s small, medium and large in shirts, jeans 4-6 and 10, shoes 7 and 8.5-9.