After more than 24 hours without electricity, getting power back should have restored normalcy for the Barton family; instead it brought tragedy.
Just moments after electricity was repaired Saturday afternoon, a power company worker noticed smoke coming from the Barton's mobile home. "I think it was a power surge, but I'm not sure," John Barton said about the fire.
An Appalachian Electric Power Company representative tells News 5 WCYB they are aware of the fire and their liability department is looking into it. He added that all of their equipment was working properly at the time the fire started.
"We went through the house and thought we turned everything off, every switch off," says John Barton.
Aside from a change of clothes they had with them, the family lost everything except for a four-wheeler and antique car that a neighbor saved from the carport.
The family of four will soon become a family of six.
Kathy Barton is set to deliver twin girls in October, but they have no place to call home. "It's very scary to know you have nothing,” says Kathy Barton. “You have to rely on everybody."
While they don't yet know why a fire started when the electricity returned, they're thankful it didn't happen at night.
The Bartons are currently staying with family and the Red Cross has offered to help. "One of those things, we'll see where it leads us,” says Kathy Barton. “It's got to get better, it's got to get better."
And it did, at least for daughters Whitney and Catlin -- they found their cat Jagger who had been missing since the fire.
The power company says it's not common for fires to start when electricity is restored. They did say it's possible for storms to cause electrical damage to homes that does not show up until the power is back on.
John Barton says his advice to anyone that loses power is to turn their breakers off, not just the switches.