Firefighters from McDuffie Fire Rescue and McDuffie EMA responded to a home fire Thursday morning that seemed to be routine. However, some see a miracle emerging from that fire.
Bernice Hunt said the smoke detectors began going off in the upper level of her Dearing home around 8 a.m. Jan. 6.
“The smoke detectors were going off all over, sort of fighting one another for sound. I didn’t see anything at first so I started opening the closets,” she said. “When I opened the front room closet, it was on fire. I screamed for my son, ‘The closet is on fire, the closet is on fire.’ ”
Hunt’s son Dellwyn ran outside to get the water hose, but by then it was too late.
“The black smoke came rolling down the stairs,” Hunt said. She and her son went outside and called 911.
At 8:29 a.m., McDuffie Fire Rescue arrived at 3040 Ellington Airline Road in Dearing to find flames coming from the upper level of the two-story home. Two fire engines and 14 fire personnel were on the scene. Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Sewell said they had cleared the scene by 11:30 a.m.
“Pretty much everything had burned up,” Sewell said.
While searching through the house for hot spots or anything that could be salvaged, firefighter Christopher Hinton came across something unusual – a Bible that had not been touched by the flames.
“I couldn’t really believe what I was seeing at the time,” he said. “It was like a miracle.”
Hinton said everything around the Bible was burned, but when he picked it up it was cold and wet.
Sewell said that whenever they find an item like that, they try to get it back into the family’s hands. He said he pointed out Bernice Hunt, the owner of the house, and Hinton gave her the Bible.
“I was so happy,” Hunt said, adding that the Bible is a family heirloom that has been passed down through generations.
Hunt said the Bible used to belong to her husband, who was a minister, the Rev. Johnny Hunt.
As of Tuesday, the cause of the fire had not been determined. No one was injured in the fire. The family is in need of clothing and household items. Anyone interested in helping may contact Tish Davis, Hunt’s niece, at (706) 627-7190. Hunt said they are accepting pretty much anything.
“Whatever they can give,” Hunt said. “I know everybody is having it kind of rough.”
Hunt said she always has and always will keep the faith, through everything.
“The Lord brought us to it and he is gonna carry us through it,” Hunt said. “I just know everything is gonna be alright.”