PALMER – An attic fire damaged a Palmer family's residence about 8 a.m. Monday, Jan. 6 in the 100 block of E. Jefferson St. in Palmer.

Ellis County Assistant Fire Marshal Joshua Hibschman said a faulty heater in the attic started the fire, which quickly spread through the attic space to ignite the whole structure.

Palmer Fire Chief Kevin Rhodes said one of the department’s firefighters was driving by the house on his way to the station and saw heavy smoke and fire showing. The firefighter immediately called for Palmer units and mutual aid. Red Oak, Ennis and Ferris Fire Departments provided assistance.

Members of the American Red Cross were called out to provide assistance to the displaced residents. Both of the residents were already out of the structure when crews arrived on scene.

Fire crews attacked the blaze from the back of the home and along the roof. Firefighters were rotated on a continual basis and were able to bring the fire under control.

Firefighters were able to contain most of the fire damage to the attic, though the rooms below did suffer smoke and water damage. Rhodes said he believes the resident will be able to salvage many of their possessions.

The 19-degree temperatures caused an increased hazard for firefighters. The water sprayed into the house froze along the outside of the structure and wherever it pooled around the fire engine.