Fire on East Williams St. destroys house

Published 7:47 pm Wednesday, March 28, 2018

No injuries were reported after a fire razed a residence at the 900 block of East Williams Street Wednesday. Angela Motin, 52, and Willie Reed, 73, were inside the residence when the fire started around 1 a.m.

LaGrange Fire Lt. Rob Vael said in an email that the cause of the fire was determined to be electrical. Motin and Reed said they rent the property.

The LaGrange Fire Department was called to scene at 1:15 a.m. and arrived at 1:20 a.m. The fire was under control by 1:42 a.m., according to Vael.

The residents lost everything in the fire. According to Vael, damages to the property were $25,000 and damages to the contents were $10,000.

Neighbor Amber Moses said she woke up around the time of the fire and when she looked out a window, she saw the house on fire.

“It didn’t take long for it to start, it just blazed on up and just spread,” Amber said.

“So, I [awoke] my mom up, and she saw it. Everybody around here called 911. And by the time they arrived, they lost everything.”

Motin said she had gotten out of the shower when she saw flames inside their bedroom.

“I ran out of there in nothing but this T-shirt. My neighbor had to get me a pair of pants,” Motin said. “If we didn’t have our neighbors around here, I don’t know what we would have done.”

Motin and Reed were assisted by the Red Cross, and neighbors have helped them by giving clothes and items.

“Everybody’s reaching out, trying to give everything,” said neighbor Willene Moses. “Helping them out until they get back up on their feet.”

Motin said she and Reed were living on fixed incomes, and that she lost medications for her blood pressure and psoriasis in the fire.

“It wasn’t just material things, but my dead daughter’s pictures burnt up in that house,” Motin said. “It blazed up so quickly, and [Reed] was still in there. It scared me because I was calling his name, but he barely made it out the backdoor. This happened in under five minutes.”

Motin said they started living in the house in 2011.  The couple did not have any pets inside the home at the time of the fire.