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Blaze claims family’s home

It was a tragic end to a holiday weekend for a Blountstown family that lost their home to an early morning blaze on Monday. Both the West Side and Blountstown fire departments responded to the fire that broke out at 16937 NW 12th Street around 1:30 a.m. The mobile home was fully involved when firefighters arrived. John Barton, 31, Amy Gagner, 24, and their three sons, ages two, four, and six, all made it safely out of the home, but John was taken to Calhoun-Liberty Hospital by EMS where he was treated for smoke inhalation. According to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Dep. Bobby Sims and Dep. McGhee spoke with Barton who advised the fire started in the back bedroom where a space heater was in use. He said Gagner had been in the room and noticed the wall outlet start sparking. Barton attempted to cut the power to the room, but said it was too late and the wall caught fire. After getting his family out, John went back inside to attempt to put the fire out with a garden hose, but was unsuccessful. The mobile home was a total loss. Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteers responded at 3:30 a.m. The Red Cross is assisting the family with temporary lodging, clothes and food. If you would like to help local disaster victims, please call the Red Cross at 850-763-6587 or log on to www.redcrosscpc.org.

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