Family of 5 loses everything in blaze

By Kirk Collier
The Palatka Daily News

PALATKA -- Greg Williams came home early from work Friday to help his wife celebrate her birthday. Instead, the family of five lost their home and all their personal belongings when the house they were renting caught fire.
No one was injured in the blaze.
Williams, 28, of 1409 Laurel St., said he was in the shower around noon when his wife, Tekelia, told him she smelled smoke.
Williams said he didn't smell smoke at first, but then determined that smoke was coming from the house's air conditioning vents.
He said he checked the living room at the west end of the house and found it in flames. He and his wife then grabbed their three children, ages 8, 6 and 4, and ran outside.
Capt. Randy Porter of the Palatka Fire Department said it took firefighters two or three minutes to bring the fire under control after they arrived.
Palatka Fire Marshal John Holley concluded that the cause of the fire was an electrical problem. He said the initial investigation pointed to the house's main circuit breaker. Williams said he and his wife had been having problems with the circuit breaker.
Joff Filion, chief building official for the city of Palatka, said the house looked to be a total loss, and Holley's report stated that the family lost all of their personal belongings.
Porter said the Red Cross had been contacted to help the family with relocation.
"Some birthday," Williams said.