By MELINDA WILLIAMS
A Thanksgiving morning fire damaged a Hiwassee house so badly it displaced a family of five.
Donald Boyd, chief of Hiwassee Volunteer Fire Department, said smoke was pouring from the attic and windows of the older wood frame home when the first units arrived on the scene at 2739 Julia Simpkins Road around 8:30 a.m.
All five people living in the leased residence were out when firefighters arrived. Roger Hudson with the New River Valley Chapter of American Red Cross said the agency is providing the residents with lodging, food, clothing and linens assistance.
Boyd said fire was in the wall and ceiling around the woodstove, so firefighters had to cut through rafters, the wall and the ceiling to access and extinguish it. He explained that cutting through parts of the structure to reach the fire is the only way to put it out when it is smoldering within the walls.
Firefighters were on the scene until around 11 p.m.
Also responding to the call were Snowville and Fairlawn volunteer fire departments and REMSI.