FORT LAWN, S.C. — Adam Glackler looked down at the app on his phone Thursday when it alerted him to a fire.
Glackler is a volunteer firefighter for the Fort Lawn Fire Department. The address of the 911 call got his attention.
"It popped up, and I looked at the address and said, 'Man, that's kinda close to the house,’" he said.
Another firefighter called him at work, and Glackler told him it was probably his neighbor's house.
An elderly man lives there, and he told them to get there quickly to make sure the man wasn't trapped inside.
Moments later, the phone rang again. Firefighters were in Glackler's driveway and called him, saying, "I hate to tell you this, but your house is fully engulfed. It's your house.”
For six years, he'd lived there in a mobile home on Highway 21 along with his wife and 1-year-old son.
The house is a total loss.
When Glackler left work in Fort Mill to come home, he couldn't believe it.
"When I pulled into the driveway, I didn't really know what to do, what to say. I just stood there for a minute," he said.
Other firefighters told him to just stand back and let them work, but he couldn't. He put on his turnout gear, went into his burning home and managed to grab the family safe. That's all that could be salvaged.
"Just all our important paperwork, birth certificates and all that," he said.
The cause of the fire was another blow. The family has three dogs, and Glackler had put up an electric light in a dog house to provide heat. That light caused the fire, igniting the dog house, then the house. He only wanted to protect them from the cold.
"You wanna save them and help them and keep them warm, and then you kinda lose your house out of the deal," he said, shaking his head.
Fortunately, his wife and 1-year-old son were not at home when it happened.
Friends at Glackler's job with public utilities in Fort Mill and with the Fort Lawn Fire Department are raising money to help his family during this time.
You'll find the GoFundMe page here.
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