A Thompson Road woman was barely able to get her two children to safety Saturday night as her home was destroyed by fire.
The fire was one of three house fires over the long holiday weekend.
Debra Waddell, 941 Thompson Road, told deputies from the Upson County Sheriff's Department she was sitting at her computer in the home's front room about 10 p.m. Saturday when she looked out the window to see her house on fire.
"While she was on the computer in the front room, she heard a popping sound from the front porch," according to an incident report. "She looked out of the window and noticed fire falling from the ceiling to the front porch."
Waddell told deputies she immediately got her sons Gerard and Patrick out of the house and called 911. By the time firefighters arrived, Waddell was attempting to douse the fire using a garden hose.
The house, according to reports was destroyed and the family was offered assistance from the American Red Cross.
Eight hours earlier at 1:40 p.m. Saturday, members of the Thurston Volunteer Fire Department
were called to a fire at 202 Lakewood Road, the home of Jesse Burns and Roger Gross, who had returned home to discover the fire in one of the bedrooms.
According to reports, the two were renting the house, which was insured.
Burns told deputies with the Upson Sheriff's Department he and Gross left the home around 11:30 a.m. to go to the bank and then to Wal-Mart. When they returned and opened the front door, smoke billowed from the residence.
The fire caused "extensive damage" to a bedroom while the remainder of the house was damaged by smoke and water.
A third fire, this one in the City of Thomaston, broke out at 11:25 a.m. Monday, according to reports from the Thomaston Fire Department. The kitchen fire occurred in the home of David Ussery, 1 Avenue D. Authorities say that case remains under investigation.
An incident report reveals six firefighters arrived to find the kitchen on fire. The report did not provide details as to the type of fire, but did note "extensive damage."
That report states the case has been turned over to the Thomaston Police Department.for a couple of weeks," Kilgore said.
"He's really more of a drifter and since the car was stolen in May, we can put him in Texas, Louisiana and Georgia. We've got a lot of unknowns about him, but it's coming together. It looks like he's been roaming the country in that car."
According to the Illinois Sex Offender registry, Ricard has previously been convicted of aggravated criminal assault of a "victim under the age of 18."