An early morning structure fire in Albertville destroyed a home, vehicles and garage apartment on the property.

The Albertville Fire Department received a call around 1 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, about a structure fire on Alabama Highway 205 at 408 Baltimore Avenue, according to Assistant Fire Chief Jason Beam. When firefighters arrived on the scene, the rear of the house was ablaze with flames spreading to the attic, he said.

Willis Cook — who lived in a garage apartment connected to the house belonging to his brother, Larry — woke to find the main house on fire.

“For some reason I woke up … I saw the fire right in front of my window,” Cook said.

When he called 911 on his cell phone, he said he could feel the heat from the fire and knew he had to get out of the building.

“If I had woken up 10 minutes later, I probably wouldn’t be standing here,” he said.

Cook said he ran to the back of the house and banged on his brother’s bedroom window to wake him up, but he and his family were already out in the front of the house.

The occupants of the guest house also on the property heard Cook outside and were able to make it to safety.

The fire was finally extinguished at 8 a.m., Beam said. The main house and garage apartment were a total loss, while the guest house received some water and smoke damage, he said. At least two vehicles were destroyed, as well.

The six occupants of the house and all pets were able to get out before the firefighters arrived. No firefighters or civilians were injured, the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Beam said.

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