Firemen, neighbors douse fire at West Carter home

By Thomas Wilson

   Neighbors and volunteer firefighters doused a grease fire in the kitchen of a west Carter County residence Saturday evening, minimizing damage to the home.
   The West Carter and Central volunteer fire departments responded to the 192 Joy Drive residence of Greg and Karen Goulds shortly after 6:30 p.m. West Carter fire chief, Conley Jones, said the fire started in the kitchen of the residence. The kitchen sustained fire and smoke damage while other portions of the residence received visible smoke damage.
   Greg Goulds said he and his wife were at the residence when the fire started. Neither they nor firefighters were injured in the incident.
   Jones said neighbors used garden hoses to contain the fire from spreading until fire department personnel arrived at the scene.
   "If they hadn't done that, it would have been awful worse," Jones said.
   Firefighters smashed windows at the front and rear of the residence and used an automated fan to draw smoke from the structure.
   Several family members arrived at the residence to comfort the family, including Karen Goulds' father, Charlie Bayless, county commissioner and longtime Happy Valley High School basketball coach.
   The Goulds' daughter, Courtney, was able to retrieve the family's pet cat that had remained inside the house after firefighters cleared the residence. Greg Goulds said the family would likely stay with Bayless and his family until assessing the damage to their home.
   "I'm sure we will be fine," he said. "I just praise God we got out of the house."