MOULTRIE -- Moultrie firefighters were called to a house fire at 213 Third Ave. N.W. between 6 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday -- a blaze that allegedly erupted after a domestic dispute.
Fire and police investigators were still gathering information at press time, so many details were not available, including the names of the home's owners. An investigator from the state fire marshal's office arrived on the scene about 9 p.m.
Moultrie Fire Chief Kenneth Hannon said early Saturday evening that a domestic disturbance preceded the fire, but it was too soon to tell what connection that might have had to the blaze.
Next door neighbor Willy Daniels told The Observer he heard an argument between the residents -- a woman and her boyfriend -- about 20 minutes before the fire started. They had been out on the front porch and then had taken the argument inside, Daniels said.
Daniels said he saw the man walk out of the house, and smoke came out the door with him. He called to him and said there was a fire in the house. He said the man responded with something like "It's hers" or "She's in there" and continued to walk away down the street.
Daniels said he went to the house to check on the woman, who was still inside. When he looked in the door, she was in the front room of the house and he could see the fire behind her in the middle room.
"It was blazing when she was in there," he said.
The woman was facing the door and couldn't see the fire so Daniels told her about it, but she said it wasn't bad, he said.
"[I said] Carolyn, turn around and look. Your house is on fire," he told The Observer.
The woman left the building; no one was hurt.
Daniels said his brother got a bucket to try to put out the fire while he called 911.
The house was still standing as firefighters finished putting out the flames, but black spots showed on the exterior walls and burned furniture had been pulled into the yard.
"Whatever she had, she lost it," Daniels said.
An American Red Cross official was on hand to see if the homeowner had a place to stay.