Fire tears through Hillcrest home

A fast-moving fire ravaged a Hillcrest home Friday night, leaving a family of seven homeless, authorities say.

According to fire officials, a 9-year-old girl was vacuuming on the second floor of a house on South Mountain Road when sparks shot out of the outlet, landing on a nearby mattress. The family tried to use a garden hose to put out the fire, but it was moving too fast. Firefighters say by the time they arrived at the scene, half of the house was already engulfed in flames.

"It's just way ahead of us, and it's hard to catch up with something like that," says Hillcrest Fire Chief Chris Kear.

Fire officials say because the home operated on well water, and the nearest fire hydrant is located 2 ½ miles away, it was difficult for firefighters to get the flames under control.

The homeowner's oldest son, 18-year-old Anthony Hardy, says when the fire started, he ran through the house, trying to get his brothers, sisters and six dogs outside. The family is currently staying with relatives nearby.

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