Fairburn police officer's home destroyed in fire

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A metro area police officer lost everything she owned when fire destroyed her home.
 
Lauren Harkins says she knew something wasn't right when she heard noise coming from her home on Monday afternoon.
 
"I kept hearing the noise. And I was like, 'what is that?' Soon as I turned the corner, I could see a blaze of yellow," Harkins told Channel 2's Berndt Peterson.
 
The fire raced through her Henry County home and in a matter of minutes, everything was gone.
 
"I didn't even have shoes on when we ran out of the house. These shoes I have on are from one of my neighbors. I just didn't have anything. I don't even have a pair of shoes that I own," Harkins said.
 
Harkins' police department in Fairburn says she is an important member of the department.
 
"She loves her job. She loves coming to work. We want to give her replacement equipment as quickly as we can, so when she is ready, she'll be able to come back," said Fairburn Police Sgt. Anthony Bazydlo.
 
She'll be issued a new duty belt and all that goes in it. Every piece of equipment she had was burned. And she needs another patrol car.

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The department has set up a

to help Harkins buy some clothes. Right now her entire wardrobe is on her back.

Harkins says her comrades are tough as nails, with hearts of gold.

“It's one big family. It doesn't surprise me one bit. I'm very grateful, but it doesn't surprise me that they're doing everything they can. Because they're great people. All of them,” Harkins said.

Harkins says she dumped some ashes from a cookout the night before and she believes that's what started the fire. She said the only thing that did not burn was an American flag hanging outside the home.