Local musician loses home in weekend fire

HAMBLEN TWP. — A local musician and his mother are without a home after a fire severely damaged it over the weekend.

Don Ford lived with his mother in the 6700 block of Three Notch Road. The fire was reported just after 5 p.m. Jan. 6, with smoke showing from the house, according to dispatch log.

Hamblen Township Volunteer Fire Department Cpt. Justin Griffith and Brown County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Williams were the first on scene. The two ran into the house to close all of the doors to keep the fire from spreading, said Hamblen Chief Arlan Pierce.

Volunteer firefighters from Nineveh, Trafalgar, Sweetwater and Nashville arrived on scene about 18 minutes after the fire was dispatched and found flames coming through the roof, Pierce said.

Fire damaged the home from ceiling height on the second story and up.

“It was basically all of the attic and the roof. We contained it going up,” Pierce said.

The basement also sustained water damage.

The cause is not known at this time, but Pierce said it may have been electrical. It’s believed to have started in a second-floor office.

“We consider it a really good save, because for the time we were called and the time we got there, with all of the departments for water and manpower, and as cold as it was for just a second story ceiling up, I think that’s pretty good,” Pierce said.

A “Love 4 Don Ford” fundraiser page has been established at YouCaring.com. As of Jan. 8, the page had raised $195 of the $10,000 goal. It can be found at www.YouCaring.com/DonFord-1061955.

“Don Ford is (the) first one to jump in to help others no matter what,” the page states. “Now is our turn to give back to Don, just a small token of what he has blessed so many with.”

A “Don Ford’s Fire Relief Project” Facebook group has also been created to help organize fundraisers.

Pierce said Ford and his mother were able to take some belongings, including some musical items.

The Brown County Highway Department also had to be called to the scene to put down sand and salt due to fire trucks sliding on the road. Firefighters were also battling the blaze in frigid temperatures.

“Their gloves were frozen. You had to crack the ice in the gloves so they could move their fingers,” Pierce said.

Deputies also worked to keep Ford and his mother warm.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.