Family out when house catches fire

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

The Jackson house rented by Randy and Penny Luttrell burned Tuesday evening, leaving the family without a home or their belongings.

When firefighters responded to 304 N. Ohio St., on the corner of Kate Street, fire was coming out of the upstairs eaves and was at the front door, said Capt. Randy Davis.

Penny Luttrell stood distraught outside the home as firefighters tossed burned mattresses out of the windows and looked for remaining hot spots in the structure.

No one was home at the time the blaze began. The family was out bowling together when a relative contacted them to tell them their house was on fire.

"I just thank God we were all together as a family -- doing a family thing -- instead of in that house," Luttrell said. "Materials can be replaced but lives can't."

She was shaky and teary-eyed as she walked over to her husband to give him an embrace, grateful they were alive but shocked at their loss.

The couple had only lived in the house with their three children since June, when they moved from Cape Girardeau "for a fresh start," she said.

Davis said it was too early to determine the fire's cause or how extensive the home's damage would be. No injuries were reported. Cape Girardeau firefighters responded to provide assistance.

Fruitland firefighters responded to their own fire Tuesday evening on Chippewa Lane; details were not available as of press time. For more information, see Thursday's Southeast Missourian.

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