DORA, AL (WBRC) - A family in Dora has lost their home of 12 years to a fire the homeowner says began when they were cleaning up toilet paper from a tree that was rolled during the weekend.
Cheryl Crausewell said neighborhood kids rolled her yard and house in the Hickory Ridge community on Saturday. She and her son worked to clean up the mess on Monday, but some of the toilet paper was still stuck in a magnolia tree.
She said they lit a piece of toilet paper on the magnolia tree with a lighter in an attempt to remove it, but wind blew the piece into the yard, setting the grass ablaze.
"It just popped out into a little patch and we tried to put it out and it just kept going, so I was trying to keep it from going down the front porch and came down the bank and around the back of the house," she said.
Within seconds, Crausewell said the fire spread to the backyard where the propane gas tank from a grill may have added fuel to the fire.
Crausewell, her son, her elderly aunt, her mother and her aunt's caregiver were all at home when the fire started around 2 p.m. Everyone was able to get out safely.
"You're just doing what you have to do to get everybody out," she said.
Crausewell said she's already received lots of support from family, friends and her church community. Dora's mayor also visited the site to show support and said the Red Cross is also helping the family.
"A lot of memories. You know, my son was about a year and a half when we moved here and he doesn't really remember living anywhere else, and this is where we thought we would be for a long time, long time," she said.
The family does have home owner's insurance and plans to rebuild on the same property.
"I just realize life is really precious. I mean, you know that already but it just brings it home how precious life is and all these things really don't matter," Crausewell said.
Firefighters from Dora and Sumiton are still putting out hot spots from the fire, which has been burning for more than four hours.
FOX6 News has a crew at the scene and will have live updates starting at 5 p.m. You can watch online at www.FoxAlabamaLive.com and on the WBRC app.