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Two alarm fire destroys house in Simpsonville, damages two others

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Family barely got out

By Lisa King

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A family barely escaped an intense, predawn fire that destroyed a home in Simpsonville and damaged two others Friday morning. The blaze at the home of Bob Pyles at 225 Rolling Ridge Way was so intense that Simpsonville Fire Chief Walter Jones called in the Shelby County Fire Department to help fight it. “They brought one pumper to the scene and kept one on standby at the station, and we poured twelve thousand gallons on it in less than 15 minutes,” he said. Jones said those extra efforts weren’t enough to save the house but did keep the fire from spreading significantly to the two house on either side. Bob Pyles said he was not at home at the time the fire broke about  1:30 a.m. “I was on the road in Lexington when I got the call,” he said, adding that his family barely got out in time. “They grabbed the baby, and they just barely escaped.” Jones said one reason the house went up so fast is that, when the family ran out, they left the front door open. “That air going into the house fed the fire, and it spread rapidly,” he said. Jones said the fire was accidental. “They were cooking with grease, and it caught on fire and just got away from them,” he said. “The loss of their home is really unfortunate, but they were really lucky they were all able to get out.” Randal Childers’ home at 227 Rolling Ridge sustained heavy damage to its aluminum siding on the side next to the Pyles’ property. The home on the other side, belonging to Ted Perkins, at 223, had much less damage than Childers. Friday afternoon, Pyles was picking through the rubble, trying to see what he could salvage from the house. “There’s just nothing left; it’s pretty well gutted,” he said, gesturing toward the house.  “The only thing that wasn’t burned is that,” he said, pointing to a wooden plaque depicting The Ten Commandments that he had leaned against a tree. “It’s not hurt at all, doesn’t even have soot on it.” “Tell you what,” he said, staring at the plaque, “it really makes you think. I’ve never been a very religious man, but I may have to rethink that.”