A Korean War Veteran and his family are grief stricken after their home of eight years sustained serious damage as a result of a fire that started in their house shortly after noon Thursday.
The Hope Fire Department and Hope Police Department were dispatched around 12:15 p.m. to 1805 S. Wilson after a 911 call reported the house’s garage was on fire.
The home belongs to Jim Johnson, a former Army Sergeant First Class and Tanker during the Korean War. Mr. Johnson and his wife had left the house and were on their way to Texarkana when the fire started. Their son David said he was leaving the house to meet them in Texarkana when he saw smoke billowing out of the garage. He said he called 911, moved their vehicles and grabbed a hose to start putting water on the fire.
Officers secured the area for firefighters who quickly moved to get the fire under control and save as much of the property as possible. Crewman from Hope Water & Light and Centerpoint responded to the scene to cut off power and gas to the house to eliminate further risk to the firefighters and property.
The garage was attached to the house by a two-car carport and was located on the south side of the house. Firefighters were working against a strong breeze out of the south that was pushing the fire and smoke through the attic toward the main part of the house.
As some of the firefighters focused on putting water on the fire on the garage, two other climbed onto the roof with a chainsaw to vent the roof about the carport and start putting water on it to try and stop the fire progressing to the main part of the house. Other firefighters entered the main part of the house to ensure the fire didn’t overtake it.
Although the fire did get into the attic above the house, firefighters were able to get it contained and prevent it from causing the Johnson’s to lose everything.