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Roane County Commissioner Jerry Goddard and his wife, Sherron, lost their home in a fire late Tuesday night around midnight.
“I assume they lost everything. You hate it any time, but this time of year it seems to be worse,” said Randy Scarborough, Midtown Volunteer Fire Department Chief.
Scarborough said it may have been a heater malfunctioning in the basement that caused the fire, which came up through the kitchen area.
Harriman Fire Department is closest to the home and ran mutual aid with Midtown.
“We were the first unit on the scene,” said Harriman Chief Brad Goss. “Our first unit found fire through the roof upon arrival.”
Goddard’s colleagues in Roane County government responded with well wishes.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. We are thankful no one was hurt,” said County Executive Ron Woody.
Fellow Commissioner Randy Ellis, who also serves the Harriman area, was also thankful that Goddard was able to get out safely.
Goddard uses a walker.
“All they have left, I heard, is the clothes on their backs.” Ellis said. “My heart goes out to them especially eight days before Christmas. We are just thankful he made it out.”
Ellis described Goddard as a good guy who has served the county commission a long time.
He also serves on the county fire board.
Officials said the Goddards are staying with family that lives nearby.