Denison rehab house catches fire, forces residents to find a new place to stay

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DENISON, Tex. (KXII)- Billy Rippy says he was upstairs when the fire started, and did his part to help put the flames out before the fire department arrived. He says his next challenge is to find a temporary place to stay until the surrender home is safe to live in again.

"We're just lucky to be here today, glad there is another day," said Rippy.

Denison fire marshal John Weda says they suspect the fire was caused by a smoldering cigarette on the balcony of the second floor.

"I started smelling smoke and then of course when I looked around and there was a fire out on the porch. So I grabbed a bucket of water and threw it on it, it didn't put it out but it slowed it down," said Rippy.

Four men live in the house but only two were inside during the fire.

Surrender House manager Tony Manus says the other two men in the house have family members to stay with in town.

"Billy on the other hand, right now as far as I know, he has no place to go. I'm going to have to find a place to stay myself. All of my family is in Dallas," said Manus.

Manus says the fire caused electrical damage inside the walls on the second floor, and will need to repair the power and water before residents can move back in.

"I'll have to look for a spot. This just happened, I haven't had time to look nowhere. I may have to stay in a motel or something, I don't know. I'll be alright," said Rippy.

Weda says it could be at least a couple of weeks before anybody can live in the Surrender House again as they do repairs to the inside of the house from the fire damage.