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Fire guts upscale home

By By Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
A 20,000 square foot home at 2451 Breeding Drive in Hartselle, valued at more than $1.5 million, went up in smoke May 13 after it apparently was struck by a bolt of lightning during a heavy thunderstorm. Also destroyed were the home’s contents, including two classic cars parked in the basement.
One of the home’s owners and occupants, Huiping Liu, was in bed asleep with her daughter, Victoria Dawn Wiegmann, 5, when they were awakened by smoke. They found their way out of the house even though it was filled with smoke. Neither one of them was hurt. Liu immediately called 911 and her husband, Bruce Wiegmann who works at NASA in Huntsville.
Flint Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the scene at 10:53 a.m. and immediately called for assistance, Hartselle Fire Department responded and arrived with an engine company at 11:03 a.m.
Shelton said the lack of an adequate water supply hampered the efforts of his firefighters and others to save the house.
Shelton said Flint got the fire call ahead of Hartselle because the Wiegmann property is outside of Hartselle’s corporate limits and inside the Flint Fire District.
About 30 firefighters were involved in the operation and several of them remained on the scene for up to three hours.
Weigmann said his family had been in the house for about a year and a half. It was insured and its value was estimated at $1.6 to $2 million.
Shelton said assistance was sought from the State Fire Marshall’s office and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department to determine the cause of the blaze.