Thomasville family safely escapes fire that destroyed home on Wednesday

THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- A Thomasville family’s home was destroyed in a fire Wednesday afternoon and the fire is still under investigation.

Thomasville fire officials told FOX8 that the preliminary cause is pointing to a baseboard heating unit.

“A lot memories…a lot of memories. It goes back to birthdays. We are talking Christmases. We are talking Thanksgivings,” said Rickey Harriott, as he looks at his damaged home.

Harriott’s family has lived in the house destroyed in the fire for more than two decades.

Just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, he says he got an unexpected phone call at work.

“My supervisor says you need to get home your house is on fire,” he said. “My little daughter she is playing outside and her and her friends are outside playing and somehow they came from the back to around the corner and they saw flames,” Harriott said.

“The little girl came in the house crying and I’m like, ‘why are you crying’ and she said, ‘my mama house is on fire’ and I look out and see this, but we didn’t know or smell nothing,” said Reginald Christian, who was inside the house at the time of the fire.

Harriott’s wife, mother-in-law, cousin and 10-year-old made it out just in time.

“When I see this right here, I just thank god that we were able to get my aunt out and we were able to get out,” Christian said as he looked the damage.

The cause of the fire is focused on a heater, something the Thomasville Fire Department says is common in homes.

The National Fire Protection Association says heating equipment is a leading cause of house fires in the country.

“I never would’ve thought in a million years because the heat wasn’t on,” Christian said.

“We know that there are better days ahead,” Harriott said.

The cause of the fire still not determined.

The Thomasville Fire Department wanting to remind people to always leave a few feet between heaters and other items in your home.