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House fire and explosions wake neighbors in Rossville subdivision

The second story of the home is completely gone.
The second story of the home is completely gone.
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A family of six is out on the streets - after a fire destroys their Rossville home. It happened around 2 am on Caramel Lane.

Neighbors say a loud explosion startled them out of bed.

"My wife said - there's smoke coming from the other side of the house out front," said Jamie Jenkins. "So we ran outside and you could see the house on fire."

Jamie Jenkins says he sprinted to his neighbor's house - worried people were inside.

"We were all screaming at the back of the house," said Jenkins. "The backdoor was just blown off the hinges. You could see straight inside but the house at that point - a minute and a half after the large boom - was just totally engulfed in flames already."

Catoosa County fire officials say the Tisdale family was not at their Caramel Lane home when the fire struck. They were in Atlanta on vacation. Neighbors called them with the news. The Tisdale family has four children - and they were looking to sell their home and upgrade to a bigger space.

"You just think about everything that they lost," said Jenkins. "But fire happens so fast."

Leeann Tisdale told NewsChannel9 her family had tanks of propane for the grill and fire place - and a gas can for the lawnmower. She did not want to talk on camera - but says some of the tanks were still intact.

"We're investigating that at this time," said Steven Quinn, Catoosa County Fire Chief. "It could have possibly been propane tanks, hot water heater - there's several things that could have contributed to it."

The fire took crews from Catoosa County, East Ride and Fort Oglethorpe - about an hour to get the flames under control. The house next door - also damaged.

"I was probably maybe 20 feet from the backdoor and the heat was so intense - it was hard to get any closer," said Jenkins.

Now a self described close-knit community rallies together to support the Tisdales. Just hours after the fire - a Go Fund Me page already started - to replace what they lost.

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