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Space-heater fire destroys garage

A barn-shape garage owned by an assistant prosecutor was destroyed Saturday when fire raced through it on Saturday.

The garage in the rear of the residence at 309 Lee St. in Thomson was owned by William and Kit Doupe'.

The home, just a few yards away, was spared major damage as firefighters doused it with water to keep it cool while battling intense heat, heavy smoke and flames.

Mr. Doupe' is senior assistant district attorney for the Toombs Judicial Circuit and prosecutes cases in Warren and Wilkes counties.

Although Mr. Doupe' and his family were home at the time, no one was injured. The couple's sons, Hank and Mick, were able to free their pet dogs from a fenced backyard.

Mr. Doupe' said he had been doing work in the garage and had turned on a portable propane heater for warmth.

He received a telephone call from a friend seeking legal advice.

"I started smelling smoke and looked over to see that fire had broken out around the space heater," Mr. Doupe' said. "I ran and got the garden hose and tried to put it out, but the fire just got bigger."

Mr. Doupe, who had planned to work on a dirt bike later that afternoon, said he had many tools in the garage.

"I lost everything I had in there," Mr. Doupe' said.

More than a dozen firefighters from the Thomson Fire Department arrived shortly after 2 p.m. Bright-orange flames scorched power lines above the rooftop of the garage.

The northern part of Lee Street was closed to through-traffic for about three hours as fire hoses stretched up and down the street.

Thomson Fire Chief Rick Sewell said the fire was accidental.

Web posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010

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