Mt. Juliet officials said a Saturday afternoon fire that almost completely destroyed a Mt. Juliet home originated in the garage.
Fire Department of Mt. Juliet Chief Jamie Luffman said at the scene that although the family was home, they escaped injury in the incident that took place at 414 Parish Hill Road. Firefighters tackled the flames in sub-freezing temps, and the hill leading to the house was quickly frozen over during the 40-minute firefight, Luffman said.
At least one pet was found alive by firefighters. And while it was not confirmed there were children in the family, crews said there were children's toys in the yard.
Luffman said the call came in at 12:33 p.m. Saturday to alert first responders of a structure fire.
"There were reports of gasoline containers in the garage," Luffman said.
He said the wife told him she heard a "popping" sound in the garage and opened the door to find the garage fully involved.
"She and a neighbor tried to fight the fire with an extinguisher, but quickly realized it was too far gone," Luffman said.
"When you open a door like that it lets in so much oxygen and that feeds the fire," he said. "Plus, it was a really open floor plan that allowed even more oxygen."
FDMJ had 17 members on the scene, and Luffman said the structure was 75-percent damaged. No one was injured.
"The family is safe, and our firefighters were wet and cold," he said. "It turned into an icy situation with the frigid temperatures."
Some things were salvaged, the chief noted. A refrigerator and motorcycle stored in the garage were destroyed, as well as other belongings.
Investigators are still determining the fire's cause.
The last major house fire in Mt. Juliet was just before Christmas on Sunnymeade. In the last two months the FDMJ also provided mutual aid to Wilson Emergency Management Agency related to two other Mt. Juliet area house fires.
"We have a wonderful crew in our department," Luffman said after he left the scene of the fire. "I'm so grateful."
Writer Laurie Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org