WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn (WKRN) — A grease fire from a backyard cookout led to a massive house fire in Williamson County.
On Tuesday night, Emy Joe and Keith Bilbrey tell News 2 they grilled steaks outside on their back porch. The Arrington Volunteer Fire Department posted on Facebook that an unnoticed grease fire, fueled by gas, lead to the huge blaze.
About twenty-four hours after the fire broke out, there was still smoke and a few flames visible on the backside of the home on Cox Road.
Emy Joe’s daughter, Stephanie Warner, grew up in the historic home. It was built in the 1800’s during the Civil War.
“Unfortunately, the main home is just gone. There’s just nothing left,” Warner said. “It was an absolute gorgeous home with five fireplaces, 19-foot ceilings, 18-foot windows that you could walk in and out of. So many memories here.”
On Wednesday, family members and firefighters combed through the rubble to recover any personal items they could find. Warner says they located some family photos and their family Bible.
“It’s charred along the edges, but we’re hoping to be able to frame part of it one day and find a special scripture and make it special,” Warner said.
The house held decades worth of memories, antiques, and country music memorabilia from Keith’s years as a Grand Ole Opry announcer and radio host. While those items can’t be replaced, Stephanie says she’s glad she can still hold her parents closely.
“When I walked up to the house, and saw it fully engulfed, my heart sank. But strangely enough, I felt so much joy in my heart that I could look at my mom and stepdad and see them breathing and living and full of life. They were fine and healthy and seeing that blaze behind them it was like something out of a movie,” Warner said.