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West Lake fire destroys Augusta surgeon's home

Posted: April 11, 2013 - 11:31am  |  Updated: May 6, 2013 - 5:37pm
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Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze the severely damaged a West Lake home Wednesday evening.
Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze the severely damaged a West Lake home Wednesday evening.

Twitter @ValerieRowell

An Augusta physician was displaced late Wednesday after a fire destroyed his Martinez home.

The West Lake subdivision home of Dr. Henry W. Ferguson, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Georgia Regents Medical Center, was severely damaged in the Wednesday evening fire.

Ferguson's wife told firefighters that she was laying in her tanning bed upstairs when the power to the bed went out at about 8 p.m., according to Columbia County Fire Rescue spokesman Jeremy Wallen. She went to investigate the breaker and returned to find flames shooting out from under the tanning bed.

It is not clear if the tanning bed was the cause of the blaze, which a fire investigator determined to be accidental. No foul play is suspected, Wallen said.

The fire started on the second floor of the home at 430 Congressional Court at about 8 p.m. and Ferguson's wife and passersby called 911. When firefighters arrived, the second floor was engulfed in flames, Wallen said.

There was heavy fire and water damage to the top floor of the house, worth more than $400,000, according to county tax records. A neighboring home sustained minor damage from heat and debris.

In some cases, victims of fires and other disasters can request assistance including temporary accommodations from the American Red Cross.

Red Cross of Augusta Executive Director Jennifer Pennington said the organization's Disaster Services team identifies a few local hotels that keep rooms open for emergencies during Masters Week. If a large disaster or multiple disasters leave more people homeless, Pennington said the Red Cross would open a shelter to house them.

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