ADA – Ada firefighters responded to a structure fire in the 1800 block of E. 15th Thursday afternoon shortly before 5 p.m.  A passerby saw the blaze at the residence of Pia Williams and alerted the fire department.  The unintentional fire started in the engine compartment of a 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis parked within inches of the half-open garage door and quickly spread to the garage area.

Firefighters arrived in minutes and extinguished the blaze, however, smoke damage throughout the home caused an estimated $20,000 to the structure and $10,000 to the contents of the home.  According to Ada Fire Department records, the car had been purchased about two months ago and didn’t have any problems the family was aware of.

Williams wasn’t at home at the time the fire started, but her teen-age son Beau Williams was inside with their Dachsund.  The young man said he was unaware of the fire until he heard someone shouting the house was on fire, at which time he left the house with the pet.

“Somebody came into the backyard and shouted at me the house was on fire,” Beau Williams said. “I thought it was a firefighter. I had been home after school about an hour.”

“It wasn’t a firefighter. It must have been a neighbor,” said Ada Fire Department Capt. Ricky Ross. 

Pontotoc County Red Cross chapter volunteer Gary Summers, arrived as the blaze was brought under control.  The Red Cross responds to all structure fires to offer assistance to homeowners unable to stay in the home after the damage.

“You can’t beat help like that, Ross said. “The Red Cross put the family up in a motel room for the night. They are all volunteers and they never fail to show up to structure fires.  These people are willing to help the community and it makes us look good that they are here to help the victims,” he said.