"This was the first house I ever bought," said Gene Babbel as he watched firefighters working to put out the flames that ate away at his house. Babbel said he was working a controlled burn to remove the weeds around his deck when a sudden gust of wind carried the fire under the deck. Two members of his church were helping him with the burn said Babbel. The fire burned up the side of his housing making its way into the upper level and into the attic.
Babbel said someone ran inside his house and grabbed his two cats. The family dog was found running around outside by a passerby. One man was taken to the hospital with first degree burns to his forehead.
Babbel says his son and two grandchildren are currently living with him and his wife. Clifton Fire Department says the house is almost a complete loss with damage estimated to be between $250,000 and $300,000.