County family loses home to fire


A Madisonville family was displaced Friday morning by a house fire that destroyed their Derby Lane home.

Responders arrived on the scene shortly after 7:25 a.m.

“It was fully involved when we got there,” said Madisonville Fire Chief Thom Jones.

The home was occupied by Rebecca Marsh, her husband, her son and an undetermined number of pets. No injuries were reported. Authorities said they believed the Marshes are now staying with family in town.

Jones said the fire department did not assign a dollar figure to the damages.

An investigation is ongoing but there was initial speculation that the blaze could have ignited by an electronic cigarette or a cell phone charging on a table.

“The e-cigarettes have been known to ignite even when they’re not charging,” Jones said. “It spread pretty quickly. They heard a pop and opened the door to the living room, and the living room was on fire.”

Curtis Klingle, a Madison County sheriff’s deputy who responded Friday, said the family was able to save a detached garage and a vehicle, which was towed to the Douglass Nissan dealership in College Station.

“When we were out there talking to her, she had such a sweet disposition,” Klingle said of Rebecca Marsh. “She was so happy that her car was saved. The woman actually smiled. I thought it would be neat if we could get her car back on the road.”

Responders agreed to pool their money to pay for the costs of reprogramming the car, which is keyed through a chip system and push button. It wouldn’t start without the chip, Klingle explained. The reprogramming costs roughly $200, he estimated, but in what the deputy described as a “good Samaritan story,” the law enforcement officers didn’t have to contribute after all.

“Douglass Nissan called us and said they would take care of it,” Klingle said. “They had the keys made and reprogrammed it.”