Aaron and Samantha Durrett had no idea when they woke on Sunday morning, Sept. 12, it would be the last time they woke up in their home. 
"We (Aaron and Samantha) were sitting in the front when the fire happened watching church service when Samantha said, 'I smell smoke,'" Aaron said as he explained the events leading up to the fire. "Samantha went to the front door and opened it and immediately saw the soffit on the right side of the porch was on fire."  

The instinct for both Aaron and Samantha was to run inside and fetch a glass of water to help extinguish the flames. But, immediately, both knew that wouldn't work. By then, when the Durretts tried to enter the sliding glass door that led to the kitchen, they found it couldn't be opened.  The back door wouldn't open either, and they gained entry by kicking in a side door. Upon entering the house, they found one side already full of thick smoke. EMA Director, Chuck Kemper was on the phone with 911 while navigating through the smoke. The dispatcher asked the address, but he couldn't give it to her because he couldn't breathe and was coughing while still inside. 

Once outside the home, Aaron was able to provide dispatch with their address. Rush County EMA Director Chuck Kemper saw smoke as he was driving, pulled off the road's side, and rushed to the scene. The Durretts saw him as they came around the front of the house and saw Kemper yelling and asking, "Is anyone inside?"  A police officer was also parked on the road side when they came out of the house. The Durretts than ran down to his vehicle. "When we reached the officer and then turned back around, the whole place was lit," Aaron said." It was less than a minute from the time we saw it and ran out of the house.”

The Durretts shared a video on social media three days later showing the aftermath left behind. Three cats were seen in the video, the three that survived. "We lost three cats that were inside in the fire," Aaron shared.  Next, Aaron shared items the family didn't lose, which wasn't much as 98% of their possessions were lost in the fire. The items in the barn, such as tools, a home gym, and camping gear was left unscathed. However, the contents in the home were basically destroyed, except a few items, including the items inside the fireproof safe, a guitar with only a tiny singe with a severely burned case. A look inside the children's room showed no traces of children living there before, nothing was left but ashes.

Beyond content in the house, the Durretts lost cars, a gazebo, and several of the trees were wholly or partially burned. Even two vehicles at least 30 ft away from the flames were melted entirely on the front end. "If she (Samantha) hadn't smelled the smoke, we would not be here right now to share an update, Aaron said. "We would have been in there. We would have been ashes."The Fire Marshal is still investigating, but the cause of the fire is believed to be an electrical fire that started at the porch light. Because the fire originated in the attic, smoke alarm detection was delayed and didn't begin beeping until the Durretts were already exiting the home. "Five or six fire departments were on the scene and 25 firefighters," Aaron said. "While we were still outside, we immediately started getting calls. Our landlord could see smoke from the other side of town and rushed over."Aaron and Samantha have been blown away by the support received from friends, family, and the community. "The amount of support that we have had is unreal," Aaron said. "People we don't even know have been donating stuff." Despite the devastation, the Durretts remain positive. "We lost our house, we lost all our stuff, but we are blessed because we are here," Aaron said through tears. "We are alive, and thank God for that." Poetically, one other item that remained intact, was Aaron's Bible.

The Durretts are now in a new house after staying in a hotel for the first few nights. There are several ways to support the Durretts. A GoFundMe account has been established and has raised $350.00 of a $4000.00 goal. A Facebook group called "Fire Fundraiser" has been established and will hold an auction of items donated by small businesses.  Churches have also opened their doors and are accepting donations for the family.