Family Homeless After House Fire

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It took firefighters just over an hour before taking control of a house fire on Jackson Circle in Dothan.

Fire units responded to the blaze shortly after 7AM.

Initially, fire crews say it appeared the fire started in the chimney quickly spreading into the attic.

"If it did get out of the chimney in the overhead space of the attic, really all that's up there is installation and wood products to burn. So, everything there combusts and becomes a large fire rapidly," says Dothan Fire Department Captain Chris Etheredge.

The homeowner, Tom Ford did not want to make a comment as he watched firefighters fight the blaze.

However, he did tell News 4 he considers himself fortunate that he and his daughter made it out safely.

According to reports with the Dothan Fire Department, this was the first time Ford used his chimney this winter.

"We would recommend, before using a fireplace, if you're new to a home or if it's never been used before that you have a certified chimney sweep come out to inspect the chimney. It's to make sure there's not any problem, and that there's not an excess buildup of cresol inside from other occupants using the fireplace before you," says Etheredge.

Officials say Ford called 911 immediately after seeing smoke in the home.

They add it may have been that quick reaction to flee the house that saved his and his daughter’s life.

Ford and his daughter were the only ones in the home at the time of the fire.

Ford says he and his family will be staying with friends and family until they can rebuild.

The official cause still remains under investigation.

If you would like to make any contribution, Tom Ford says his church, Mount Gilead Baptist Church will accept donations.