DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County Fire Investigators said they may never know what caused a Lithonia home to catch on fire on Christmas Day.
FOX 5 News obtained cell phone video showing the house was engulfed in flames even before firefighters arrived.
“We could see the flames as we came down Rocksprings road,” said neighbor Michael Baker. “We started to pray and was hoping there was no one inside.”
Three family members were taken to the hospital, including an elderly woman who was burned. Late Thursday afternoon, authorities released their names and conditions. Charles Wiley, who suffered a head injury, and 97-year-old Haze Talmadge, who suffered third-degree burns, remained in the hospital a day after the blaze. Linda Spencer, whose injuries were not specified, was released.
DeKalb County Fire Investigators said the house is a total loss. They may never know the exact cause because of the amount of damage. The flames were so intense they damaged the home next door.
“The roof is charred, the siding melted and I guess the fire department kicked in the door because they didn’t know if I was home or not,” said Leon White.
White lives next door and said he was in Charleston, South Carolina for Christmas when he got the call about his neighbor’s house was on fire.
“Telling me the neighbor’s house is on fire and if I was in the house, I needed to get out,” said White.
Investigators said the fire started in the garage. It’s still unclear how, but investigators do not suspect foul play.
“It’s a terrible thing to happen on Christmas,” said White.
Neighbors are now wondering how they can help.
“We are going to get in contact with some of the neighbors who know them and find out how we can help,” said Baker.