A house fire in Greenville leaves seven children and their parents homeless, and puts one police officer in the hospital.
Members of the Peterson family woke this morning to fire and smoke filling their home. Even though several of the children were already at school, a few of them were left escaping for their lives.
Many neighbors of Government Street woke to the Peterson family home billowing smoke and emergency crews lining their street. Tinangica Hawkins, who lives in this home says she woke up to clouds of smoke filling the room she shares with her little girl and boyfriend.
“[I] tried to go out the door, but I couldn't, so I had to get me and my baby and climb through the window. It was a terrible experience,” says Hawkins.
Neighbor Anthony Bennett says he and his wife Rebecca were driving by when they saw the fire and Hawkins outside screaming for help because her boyfriend, Trenton Davidson, was still trapped inside.
Bennett says, “The curtain was in the way, he kept getting tangled up. So I snatched it out and then he threw his clothes out and came on out.”
Police officers Andy Beck, Jimmy Oliver, and Thomas Hallford say they were the first emergency responders inside the burning home.
“We tried to advance inside the house and we couldn't get much further then where we were because of the smoke,” says Sgt. Beck.
Authorities say there was not anyone else in the home after Hawkins, her boyfriend and her daughter escaped. But not everyone got out unscathed. Officer, Jimmy Oliver, was taken to the emergency room after he inhaled smoke.
Sgt. Beck says, “Just as a precaution, like I said, we took him out there just to get check, but he's fine.”
Fire Chief, Chad Phillips, says it seems the fire started in the kitchen and was possibly caused by an electrical issue. He also says there isn't any part of the house that is livable.
The hotel where Randolph Peterson works will be taking the family in so they have a place to stay.
Authorities say Officer Jimmy Oliver was treated for smoke inhalation and has been released from the hospital.