Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

December 2, 2010

Fire destroys home

Athens police officer loses almost all in Tuesday morning blaze

Athens — A Tuesday morning fire near Brownsboro severely damaged the home of an Athens policeman, who  sustained incapacitating injuries in the blaze.

Officer Chris Saylors was burned as he attempted to get keys to vehicles that were parked in front of the house . Saylors was transported to East Texas Medical Center in Athens, where he was treated and released. His wife was also at home, but was not injured

Henderson County 9-1-1 received a call at about 10:40 a.m. reporting a structure fire at a house on Farm-to-Market Road 607. The Brownsboro Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call, followed by fire units from Chandler and Murchison.

Brownsboro Fire Chief Robert Chambers said the fire was visible at the front door and all of the front windows of the one-story, wood-frame house, when the first truck arrived. Firefighters quickly pulled a hose from the truck and began preventing flames from reaching vehicles parked in front of the house. They pulled a second hose and began to attack the fire inside the residence.

 The BVFD had about 12 firefighters on the scene. Their efforts saved about 30 percent of the house, with the rest destroyed in the fire, Chambers said.

Chambers said Saylors, who had worked a night shift, and his wife were at home when the fire ignited. They smelled smoke, opened a bedroom door and saw the flames.

Saylors has been with the APD since June of 2008. The officer lost just about all of his possessions in the fire, Davis said. Because of the severity of his injuries he will not be able to work for the rest of this week and possibly next week.

Henderson County Fire Marshal Darrell Furr’s office is investigating the fire. Chambers said he was told the blaze may have originated in a window air conditioner that provides cooling and heat. The unit may have caused a nearby couch to ignite.

A fund has been set up for Saylors at First State Bank in Athens. Saylors, his wife and two children are also in need of clothing.

“Most of all that wasn’t burned in the fire is smoke damaged and in pretty bad shape,” Davis said. “They’ve just lost about everything they’ve got.”

Clothing sizes for the family are:

• men’s extra large shirts;

• men’s size 34-36 pants;

• men’s size 10-and-a-half to 11 shoes or boots;

• women’s extra large shirts;

• women’s size eight to 10 pants;

• women’s size 8 shoes;

• boy’s size 12 to 14 pants;

• youth large shirts;

• youth extra large jackets;

• youth size 6.5 shoes,

• juvenile female size 5 jr. pants;

• large adult shirts;

• youth jacket size 22;

• size 8.5 shoes.

The boy likes hunting and transformers. The girl is interested in reading Shakespeare and Twilight.

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