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Two Perry County Residents Die in Fire

Lightning Strikes Home

Contact: John S. Robison, State Fire Marshal

(334) 241-4166

4/4/2000

Two people were killed Monday afternoon in Perry County when a weather related fire destroyed their home.

Sixty year old Creamo Lapsley and five year old Derrick Hood were killed when fire destroyed Mr. Lapsley’s home at Route 1, Box 240; Uniontown, AL around 2:35 PM.

The fire was discovered by the five year old who alerted the owner. The child and owner entered the home in an apparent attempt to locate the fire and extinguish it, however, they were overcome by smoke before they could escape. The victims were found in a bedroom, which led to an exit.

The Uniontown and Marion Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the fire, but were unable to save either person.

Neighbors reported a strong thunderstorm with extensive lightning approximately one hour prior to the fire being discovered. No one was at the home at the time of the storm, but returned to the area approximately thirty minutes later. According to neighbors, the electricity went out during the lightning and was still out when the fire was discovered.

The fire and deaths were investigated by the State Fire Marshals Office. The cause of the fire was determined to be lightning which struck the northeast corner of the home.

It is unknown if any smoke alarms were present in the home at the time of the fire, however, due to the circumstances the presence of an alarm would most likely not have affected the outcome of the fire.

The State Fire Marshals Office reminds everyone to never enter or re-enter a burning building for any reason. In many cases people, who are not trained firefighters, are killed when they enter a burning building, as they are not equipped to survive the heat, smoke and flames. The rule should always be – escape, report the fire to the fire department and wait to tell firefighters any information they may need to know.