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Blaze destroys Glen Echo Drive home over Labor Day weekend
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A Newton County family is left without a home after a raging fire severely damaged their two-story house late Sunday night.

The Newton County Fire Department received a call around 11:08 p.m. from a neighbor who spotted flames from the Glen Echo Drive residence, said NCFD Deputy Fire Chief Tim Smith.

When firefighters arrived, flames had engulfed and come through part of the roof, said Smith. It took about 45 minutes to get the blaze under control and units were on the scene until 3 a.m. doing mop up and overhauls of the site, Smith said. No one was injured during the fire.

"The fire did a fairly good bit of damage to the residence," said Smith. The fire decimated the majority of the roof and charred much of the second story while water damage spread through other parts of the house.

Though the origin of the fire is still under investigation, Smith said it seemed to be an accidental fire that started near the attic. No one was at home when it started, he said.

Dorene Burrell, homeowner and mother of two young children, said she and her family, who had lived at the residence for about two and a half years, were out that evening getting a bite to eat and doing some shopping at Wal-Mart when she received the call about their house.

By the time she arrived at what used to be her house, firefighters were already at work, getting the blaze under control

"I was in tears," she said. "It's my home. It's where I live."

The damage left the house uninhabitable and the Red Cross was called in to assist the family, who had no relatives in the area.

"Thank God for the Red Cross," Burrell said, adding that they put up the family in a place to stay which allowed her daughter to continue going to school.

For now, the family is cleaning up, salvaging what can be saved and navigating the insurance process.

Workers ended up tearing off most of the roof and chunks of wall, replacing it with bright blue plastic tarpaulin to protect the rest of the home from rain.

While the first floor may be usable, she said, the second floor may need to be completely rebuilt.