GAINESVILLE - A house on Echols Road in northeast Hall County had been home to eight people befoe it was destroyed by fire Wednesday afternoon.
Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell said the American Red Cross now is helping those people get back on their feet. Kimbrell also said investigators determined the fire started in a small fireplace in the home.
An alert neighbor reported the fire in the 7300 block of Echols Road.
Kimbrell said the older 1,000-square-foot house was about half involved in fire when firefighters arrived around 3 p.m.
"We could see it, basically a large column of smoke while we were en route," Kimbrell said.
Banks and Habersham counties were called to assist Hall County with tanker trucks because of the lack of water in the area, according to Kimbrell. An engine from Baldwin Fire Department also responded.
"They made an initial defensive attack just to knock down the large volume of fire and then began to go in and clean up the hot spots and extinguish all the other areas," Kimbrell said.
Echols Road is in the northeastern portion of the county off Old Cornelia Highway between Barrett Road and Yonah-Homer Road.