The Odessa Record -

Odessa home burns, firefighters monitor hotspots


--Photos for The Record by Briette Boss.

The home of John Hilty of Odessa caught fire early Monday morning. Flames shot out of the front door and windows when the fire crew arrived and began work to bring it under control.

John Hilty of Odessa got ready for work Monday morning and headed out of town to his job. Something made him turn around, he told The Record, and head back home because "something just didn't seem right." He found his home in flames.

Odessa firefighters rushed to the home on Marjorie.When they arrived, flames were shooting out the front door and windows, and smoke also poured out through the vents in the ceiling/roof. Friends and neighbors gathered around Hilty giving what comfort they could. Since he was not wearing a coat, several people tried to give him the coats off their own backs. He kept saying he wasn't cold and would not accept a coat. Sherri Frederick didn't believe that he was not cold and draped her jacket over his shoulders as he talked with others gathered around him.

On Tuesday, only the burned out shell of the Hilty home remained standing. As of press time Wednesday, The Record had received no word on what might have caused the blaze.

Hilty had tried to contact his son but was unable to connect and had to leave a voice mail message. Chris Costlow came over from his auto repair business. Since he also had the number of John's son TJ Hilty, he tried calling and was able to get through, telling him that his father was unhurt but that he needed to come to Odessa as soon as he could.

Next door neighbors Merleen and Gunner Smith gave what comfort they could to Hilty. After moving their vehicles out of harm's way, there was nothing left to do but watch the firefighters do their job.

No doubt neighbors on either side of the burning home were also worried that the fire might spread, but the Odessa fire crew responded quickly and competently to prevent damage to the other homes in the vicinity. Some firefighters remained on the scene until late afternoon/early evening to make sure that no hot spots flared up again later on.


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