Passers-by Help Save Items from Burning Home 

No one was home and no one was hurt when fire tore through a home in Madison Sunday.The flames were reported by some folks passing by – who also stayed to help.”When we got here, there were flames coming out of the back corner and a there was a lot of fire. Heavy fire,” says Madison Fire Chief Roger Lightbody. Jay Webb lost nearly everything after flames ripped through his house. His father Alvyn lives nearby. “I smelled smoke and heard a lot of traffic, so I hopped on my 4-wheeler to see what was going on,” says Alvyn Webb. “Flames were licking the backside of the garage. And I figured, that’s Jay’s livelihood. If he lost his garage, he’d lose everything,” he says.Webb makes his living as a mechanic and keeps the tools of his trade in his garage. But, thanks to the help of friends and total strangers, those items stayed out of harm’s way.”A lot of them I didn’t know. There were neighbors that kicked right in. Billy up the road, he came down, he was pointing, here get this, get that, running and getting stuff out,” Alvyn says.”There were a lot of people here that were lugging stuff out of the garage. There were some people driving by on motorcycles that stopped before I got here,” Lightbody says.Lightbody says the work of six fire departments helped keep the flames from reaching the garage. More than a dozen other people also pitched in.”If that were my house and total strangers were helping haul stuff out, yeah, that’s a very good feeling,” Lightbody says.Jay Webb is a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and Bosnia. He’s lived here for more than 10 years. “All that stuff is just material things. It can be bought again. Nobody was hurt,” Alvyn says. That’s including Webb’s children, who live here part of the time. A neighbor took his horse from out back and his cat has returned home. The state Fire Marshal’s office says the fire started in a back bedroom. They say the fire was accidental and “cannot rule out electrical malfunction.”Until he can rebuild, Webb says he’s looking to stay in a camper borrowed from a friend. “Get a camper to stay right here on this place,” Alvyn says. “Because it’s his home.”