Family bible survives Tennessee house fire

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tennessee (WJHL) — A few photographs and a family Bible were the only items that survived a house fire in Carters Valley, Tennessee Sunday

“I was asleep, and I didn’t hear anything ,” said homeowner, Donna Clark.

Clark, and her 84-year-old father live at the home on 519 Way Cross Road in Hawkins County. Her father was at church at the time of the fire, but she was sleeping inside and did not hear the smoke alarms going off.

Her best friend and neighbor, Penny Byington saw the smoke and knew something was wrong.

“I ran over there, and when I got in and I opened the door you couldn’t see anything,” she said.

In a panic, she looked for her friend, and was able to jerk her awake and escape the burning house.

Fire officials with the Carters Valley Fire Department said when they arrived on scene, they were not able to make entry because the house was covered in flames.

“The fire moved pretty rapidly through the house,” said Captain of the Carter Valley fire department, Frank Vaughn.  “There was nothing that we could do with it. It was fully engulfed when arrived.”

FIRECARTERSMultiple agencies worked to put out the flames. Crews had to shut down the road, and the train tracks nearby.

“We just couldn’t get enough water flow,” said Vaughn.  “So had to get other agencies to haul water to us.”

Clark said they have homeowner’s insurance, and will rebuild. Despite the loss, Clark says she has her best friend and a higher power to thank for saving her life.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and thank God,” she said.

Red Cross has been called to assist the family. No one was injured in the fire. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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