House catches fire near University of Memphis

House catches fire near University of Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A house caught fire in the 3800 block of Douglass Avenue Thursday night.

Multiple Memphis Fire Department units responded to the scene where the house is almost completely engulfed by flames.

"When I got off my bike, all I saw were just orange and red lights," said witness Hunter Douglas. "I figured it was a fire and came down here."

A woman and her dog were in the house and were able to escape.

Friends say the woman had built a fire in her fireplace.

Investigators say the logs caught a carpet on fire and the flames spread quickly.

"She grabbed a few possessions, the family photos," said witness Keith Dunlap. "Less than an armful and got out."

When firefighters arrived, the house was in flames. Frigid temperatures froze the water firefighters used, making it slippery and dangerous for the officers.

"We have determined the cause of the fire was an overloaded fireplace," said Wayne Cooke of the Memphis Fire Department. "Several logs inside the fireplace extended outside. You had logs that rolled on the outside and ignited the rug and several other combustible materials."

Friends say the house was renovated in the summer with the help of a church. It appears to be a total loss.

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