NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- New Albany fire fighters were on scene of a fire in 1100 block of East Oak Street for more than five hours after a family of four woke up to smoke filling up their home.
“I opened the back door looked up on the outside wall and there is just three square feet of flames coming out,” Edwin Blake, who's family escaped the early morning blaze, said.
Blake said he and his wife knew the fire was going to spread quickly and there was nothing they could do but run into the cold morning street.
“I was going to get the water hose and try to put it out myself,” Blake said. “But deep down, I knew I was just going to lose the battle. So I just got my kids and my pets out of my house except for my cat, which we've had for 16 years. Luckily, the fireman found him alive in the closet.”
Fire officials said they don't know the cause of this latest fire, but believe they will start to see an increase in residential fires during this time of the year.
"Our run volume will start going up as people start their furnaces up and lighting fires for the first time,” Thomas Snyder, a battalion chief for Louisville Fire and Resuce, said.
Since Friday, there have been five other structure fires in the Kentuckiana area, and all are still under investigation.
Blake and his family tried to salvage anything they could with the help of other family members and their neighbors.
“I’m very grateful at a time like this,” Blake said. “Even though it’s an emergency, you're kind of hesitant to go ask a stranger for help.”