ELLOREE — Fire completely destroyed a Dinky Court family’s home Sunday night.
Dontae Douglas had just arrived home from Waffle House when he noticed something wrong.
“When I first pulled into the yard, I noticed that smoke was coming from the kitchen,” Dontae said.
At first he thought a neighbor was burning some trash.
“I looked back at the end of the house where I saw all the smoke and I saw a little flame coming from the hot water heater, so I noticed the house was on fire,” Dontae said.
Dontae and his father Darnell, who arrived home at the same time, got out the water hose out in an effort to put out the fire.
“That really wasn’t working,” Dontae said. “We called everybody and told them the house was on fire. We called 911.”
By the time the fire trucks arrived, the back end of the house was destroyed, Dontae said.
Dontae’s mother, Felicia, saw flames rising from the house when she arrived. Her immediate concern was the gas bottles in the back of the home.
“My sister-in-law, she said, ‘Y’all get from the house, get from the house. Move the cars and move everything and go back!’” Felicia said.
Felicia says she’s still shocked by the fire.
“I see it, but it does not seem real. It is like, ‘Has this really happened to us?’” she said.
The Douglas family is staying with other family members.
“The community is showing a lot of love,” Felicia said. “My church is showing great support.”
Felicia gives God credit for protecting her family.
“Thank God that we are all here,” she said.
Her husband and her son thought they heard footsteps running in the house during the fire, she said. “He ran over to the back of the door. He tried to put the key in. He was shaking. He finally had the key in. He was getting ready to go in the house but something said wait.”
“He said ‘I heard somebody in the house,’” Felicia related. “I told him…