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Fire destroys Turman home in Red Level

District 4 Commissioner Carl Turman and wife, Bobbie, are lucky to be alive after a fire completely destroyed their Red Level home early Monday morning.

Emergency personnel were dispatched to the couple’s Crystal Springs Road home at approximately 3:30 a.m. to find the home fully engulfed in flames.

It is believed an electrical short inside the couple’s Coachman fifth-wheel travel trailer caused the fire, Turman said. The camper was housed under an outside carport, which was attached to the couple’s home.

Turman said the fire quickly spread from one structure to another.

“We lost everything but our lives,” he said.

Turman credits the family dog with saving their lives, after its loud barking awoke them from a deep sleep.

“My wife said she thought someone was outside, trying to break in,” he said. “So, I got up, came through the living room and heard a loud racket. I got to the kitchen door and threw on the light and saw it was a total blaze. The camper exploded when I opened the door.”

Turman said he called 911 and was instructed to vacate the house immediately. He was able to back his truck out from under the enclosure. It suffered extensive fire damage. His wife’s SUV was a total loss, as were all the couple’s belongings on the property.

“We all know that these things happen to people, and we say we’d rather it not be to me, but thank God, we got out,” he said.

The Turmans plan to rebuild, he said.