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Flames gut home

Fire destroys birthday celebration

POSTED: March 17, 2007 5:12 a.m.
Bishop Bobby Kindley’s home was destroyed Wednesday night, the result of a fire that gutted the interior of the residence.
Kindley, bishop of the Light of the World Deliverance Center, was at the church’s fellowship hall with his family and friends celebrating his birthday at the time the fire broke out.
The church, off Highway 84 in the McIntosh community, is next door to the Kindley’s house.
According to the bishop, his wife was returning home from the festivities at about 10:30 p.m., when she noticed a light that had been left on in the garage was off. She tried to flip the switch at the garage entrance and realized the light was not functioning.
When she opened a door leading into the front part of the house, she was met with intense heat and immediately knew something was horribly wrong.
Bishop Kindley rushed over and entered the house to call 911, and he noticed flames around the area of the kitchen stove. The phone was already melted.
“We don’t know what happened. But when I went in there, the fire was over the stove,” he said.
Kindley shares the house with his wife, Bernice, and his 16-year-old grandson, Anthony Price, a Liberty County High School student.
Everything the family owned was destroyed by the fire that consumed the entire interior of the house but left the outside seemingly untouched. No one was inside the house at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.
“We thank God for life. We can replace materials things but we can’t replace life so we thank God ... “ Kindley. “Everything is totaled. We tried to salvage what little we could but that was basically the clothes on our backs. We lost everything.”
Hinesville firefighters from Stations 1 and 2 responded to the scene at 10:31 p.m. and encountered heavy smoke on the exterior, but no visible flames.
Midway firefighters were called in to provide water because there were no hydrants near the scene.
“The fire was behind the walls within the interior of the house,” Hinesville Fire Inspector Lt. George Screws said. “The flames were not visible from the outside, but they were there.”
Screws confirmed that the fire did appear to start around the area of the kitchen but the cause is still under investigation.
As for Kindley he hopes to rebuild the house.
“Once I get everything cleared out, and see what is usable, I’ll see how I can get started rebuilding,” the bishop said. “I built the whole house originally. Looks like I’ll have to round up my help and do it again.”
Anyone wishing to help the Kindleys can drop off donations at the Light of the World Deliverance Center, 4720 East Oglethorpe Hwy. or call the church at 368-2263.

Lewis Levine contributed to this story.
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