BARTON — For the second time in two days, the town mourned the death of a Barton resident who perished in a house fire.
Patti Terry died in the fire Sunday afternoon at her 11950 U.S. 72 residence.
Terry and her husband, Ron Terry, were in the house when the fire broke out, officials said.
Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May said one of his deputies noticed the fire on his way to work, so he went up to the house. Ron Terry and another man were outside the front of the house at the time and they told the deputy that Patti Terry was still inside.
The flames were so intense none of the men could enter the house, May said.
The fire was reported about 3 p.m., May said.
The man who was in front of the house with Ron Terry was Dwane Rhodes, a retired Florence firefighter. He said he was driving along the highway when he noticed the fire and saw Ron Terry outside.
Rhodes pulled up to the residence and had to prevent Ron Terry from entering the house to search for his wife.
Rhodes said he knew there was no way Terry would have made it back out alive if he had allowed him to go inside the blazing structure.
“I saw him on the front porch and had to hold him back, or there would have been two people killed in there,” he said.
“He already had some heat on him because his hair was singed up. There was no way he could have gone in.”
Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire, which they believe started in the back of the house.
Volunteer firefighters from numerous departments extinguished the blaze. Flames shot from various parts of the house and the smoke was so thick and massive there were times when visibility outside was difficult. Occasionally, the smoke even curled onto U.S. 72 into traffic. Firefighters directed traffic, making sure lanes were clear for fire engines and water trucks.
It was a tragic weekend for Barton, a town whose residents already were stunned Saturday by the death of a woman and her 6-year-old nephew who were killed in a house fire on Mulberry Lane. That fire was reported at 6:22 a.m. and many of the same firefighters who battled that blaze also were on the scene for Sunday’s fire.
The victims in that fire were identified as Angela Long, 50, and her nephew, Chalmas Buie.
Chalmas’ sister, D’nysa Holman, 9, had burns to her face, arms and hands and was flown to UAB Hospital Burn Center in Birmingham. A condition report was not available Sunday.
Bernie Delinski can be reached at 256-740-5739 or bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.