By Debbie Gregory
A massive house fire at 1791 Defeated Creek Road has left the Linda Johnson family facing an uncertain future with no home and no insurance assistance.
The 3-story wood frame home burned to the ground on Wednesday afternoon, April 3rd, despite the efforts of the Willette Volunteer Fire Department with mutual aid from Red Boiling Springs and Defeated Creek departments. The Forestry Service also responded after the woods caught on fire.
Linda and her family weren’t injured, but they lost everything in the fire, and a GoFundMe account has been created to help them get back on their feet. (www.gofundme.com/Johnson-Home-and-studio-fire).
The Willette Volunteer Fire Department was called to the Defeated Creek Road fire at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, and upon arrival fireman Marty Wright said there was smoke visible on the upper front side of the house, with flames breaking through the roof shortly after.
According to Willette Fire Chief Danny Dozier, the fire reportedly started between two bedroom walls in the front of the house and from there it spread to the attic. There were several firefighters on the scene, but the fire got away from them and they were unable to save the structure or salvage any of the family’s belongings.
Linda and David Johnson built this home with their own hands over 40 years ago, and they planned to spend the rest of their lives there. Linda is a local artist and her workshop and studio were also inside the home and she lost decades worth of artwork, materials, tools, supplies and large equipment. That’s how she made her living, and it’s all gone.
“We would like to thank everyone for all their help and support during our time of need,” said Linda Johnson. “We are starting from scratch again.”
Those responding to the scene were the Willette Fire Department, RBS Fire Department, Defeated Fire Department, Forestry Service, Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Macon County EMS, and the Macon County Chronicle.
The Willette Volunteer Fire Department was called back to the scene when the fire rekindled. Chief Danny Dozier would like to advise everyone to call 911 immediately if you smell smoke or see it, before trying to put a fire out yourself.