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Hinesville woman loses pet, home to fire
House fire 2
Diane Smiley lost her Hinesville home and her dog to a fire Friday night on White Tail Circle. - photo by Lewis Levine

A Hinesville woman lost her home and her dog in a fire Friday night.

Diane Smiley acknowledges she is lucky to be alive after barely escaping the blaze that destroyed the house she was renting on White Tail Circle. She said she had been cooking hot dogs for herself and a 6-year-old family member. Smiley had been watching television in her bedroom with the child, and when she went to check on the food, she found smoke billowing down the hallway. Flames originating in the kitchen had begun to spread rapidly through the 30-year-old structure Smiley lived in for more than 12 years.

Smiley and the child exited the home safely, but her 3-year-old pet Yorkshire terrier, T-bone, perished in the blaze. Smiley said that had she not gone to check on the food, she and the youngster would have been trapped in the home. She said the smoke alarm in the home did not alert her to the fire.

“All I heard was a beeping noise as we were leaving the home. Not once did the smoke alarm go off to let me know there was a fire in the home,” she said.

Hinesville Fire Department Capt. Andy Fowler said when he and firefighters arrived shortly after receiving the call from Liberty 911 around 9:30 p.m., the home was fully engulfed in flames.

“The fire spread quickly from the kitchen throughout the home, and the home has sustained significant fire and smoke damage,” he said.

It took firefighters more than an hour to get the fire under control and mop up hot spots, which flared throughout the residence.

Smiley said she has no idea what she will do now. The fire destroyed her clothing and furniture. The Red Cross is assisting her with lodging until Wednesday.

Anyone who would like to donate or help Smiley should call Ursula Jackson at 977-5111 or Jasmine Scott at 980-4332.

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