Dothan man dies in Fencepost Lane house fire

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Dec. 23, 2019 at 5:13 PM CST
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A Dothan man is dead after his house caught on fire late Sunday night.

Investigators were there all morning to try to figure out the cause.

Deputy Fire Chief Chris Etheredge says they use that data to try to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

As the sun rose over one house on Fencepost Lane in Dothan, it revealed a somber sight.

The house burned down Sunday night, with its owner, 62-year-old Nathaniel Newsome, still inside.

"Our first unit arrived on scene within just a matter of minutes,” said Deputy Fire Chief Chris Etheredge. “We went into what we described as a ‘defensive operation’ as there were things that started to collapse within the home.”

By the time Dothan fire was able to get the fire under control from the outside, it was too late to save Newsome.

After initially getting the call at 10:40 p.m., firefighters spent more than an hour trying to put out all the flames.

"Prior to our arrival, the fire was able to get into the overhead and attic space, when it does that, it runs the entire length of the home causing significant damage, and more importantly causes a significant collapse hazard because those rafters and truces are burning from the top sides above our heads,” said Etheredge.

Because of the collapse hazard, it was too dangerous to send firefighters into the involved section until they had most of the fire out.

"When we have a fatality in our city, we take it very personal, and then we begin to examine what we could do differently,” said Etheredge. “How can we educate better? How can we prevent this in the future?"

Nathaniel Newsome was the only one inside and there were no other injuries from the fire.