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Fire department responds to house fire with tree growing inside

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GUN BARREL CITY–Gun Barrel City Firefighters got a surprise when they were fighting a fire on Totem Pole Drive in the city.
The Gun Barrel City Fire Department responded to a call at 3:32 p.m. Friday, June 28, in the 100 block of Totem Pole Drive.  Upon arrival, smoke and flames were visible from the front of the structure.  The inside of the house was filled with heavy smoke.
Gun Barrel City Fire Department requested mutual aid from Mabank and Payne Springs Fire Departments.  Both departments arrived quickly on the scene with additional fire engines, water tankers and firefighters. With the additional resources, the spread of the fire was stopped and quickly extinguished.
The fire was located in the first floor ceiling near the front of the house and spread into a crawl space between the first and second floors of the house. When firefighters opened up the door to the crawl space, they discovered a large tree inside, approximately three feet in diameter that stopped at the roofline of the house.
Gun Barrel Fire Chief Joseph Lindaman said, “I have seen many things in all my years in the fire service, but this is the first time I have seen a tree in a closet.  You never know what you’re going to find.” Chief Lindaman continued, “ I would like to thank the Mabank  and Payne Springs Fire Departments for their quick response to our mutual aid request and to their chiefs who responded as well.”
Sherry Powers, Assistant Fire Marshal for Henderson County, determined the cause to be electrical in nature.
The property owner was home at the time of the fire. There were no injuries to the property owner or the firefighters. The American Red Cross is assisting the residents.

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