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UPDATE: Fire damages home in Borger

March 13, 2014

A grass fire quickly spread to fencing and a mobile home on Thursday. Photo by Don Rice

     UPDATE: Emergency crews responded to a grass and structure fire at the 300 block of Grand Street in Borger on Thursday just before noon. 

     The fire started at 310 Grand and spread quickly to the CareNet facility next door.

     Homeowner Chad Barringer said he was cutting a piece of metal pipe with a hand held grinder when sparks must have caught the fence, grass, or debris near the fence on fire. "I've done it a hundred times, more than that, probably. Two hundred and fifty times maybe, I've cut metal right there. It's just dry, I guess."

     "By the time I turned around," Barringer continued, "it was more than I could handle."

     Borger Fire Department Chief Bob Watson said that no injuries had occurred, but when asked if the home could be repaired he replied: "Probably not." 

     CareNet, a Christian organization that, according to Executive Director Susan Topper, "Ministers to women and men in crisis pregnancies," suffered no damage outside of some fencing and scorched grass.

     "I am praising the lord and thanking him greatly for not having the building burned," said Topper.

     To make sure that the fire is completely extinguished, Watson said that it was necessary for fire fighters to uncover clean, unburned wood in all parts of the trailer that were exposed to the fire. He pointed out one emergency worker who was ripping tin from the side of the building and said, "See where it's burned all the way back on the edge? We have to take [the siding] back all the way until we get to clean wood, to make sure there's not [some fire or embers] stuck back up in there." 

     Barringer said he does not have homeowner's insurance. He asked authorities if he could live temporarily in a shed on the property which is linked separately to the power grid, but later said "I can't live anywhere on the property until it's up to code. I can't live in the shed or nothing until it's all up to code."

     UPDATE: Steven Pair, Executive Director of the Texas Panhandle Chapter of the Red Cross has notified the News-Herald that Red Cross volunteers are on the scene of today's house fire. Pair says "At this time, we believe the home to be a complete loss," but adds that "volunteers have ensured the resident has a safe place to stay the next couple of days, along with the means to purchase food and some new clothing."

The Panhandle Red Cross is currently holding their 'Heroes Campaign', and people can help the Red Cross and help those in need by following this link: http://www.crowdrise.com/TexasPanhandleHeroes

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