Fire claims vacant house in Northaven

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Northaven house crumbled after being engulfed with flames Tuesday afternoon.

Crews responded to Benjestown Road south of Shelby Forest this afternoon and came across several grass fires.

"We're so fortunate no firefighters have been hurt out here. We have no reason to believe anyone was home," said Brent Perkins, Shelby County Fire spokesperson.

James Daniels lives across the street and was greeted with smoke when he came home with the fire still blazing. "I was thinking, 'Just don't cross the road," said Daniels.

He says that house has been empty for about two years and was in the process of getting cleaned up.

Shelby County, Memphis and Millington fire crews all responded to the area around noon. At first, they only got calls about small grass fires off Robertson Road.

"They began to call additional companies as we noticed additional fires," said Perkins.

He says they were then brought to the house on Benjestown Road, but the fire crews aren't yet sure if that's where the flames started.

The winds did take embers nearby, making grassy spots around the home catch fire. Fire crews were able to get it under control with about two dozen firefighters and made sure no one else was put in danger.

"That's always good news. You know, no one wants to be on these kind of property grounds and you don't like to see property destroyed or anybody in danger, so when you get the news that everybody's okay and that we're going to be able to contain it - yeah, that's a sigh of relief," said Perkins.

Although they don't know what caused the fire yet, Perkins says fire crews want this to be a reminder to keep fire safety in mind.