Barrow County Emergency Services responded to a tractor trailer and a house fire last week.

Just before 1 p.m. Sept. 4, communication officers received a 911 call reporting a tractor trailer on fire in the 800 block of Tucker Court.

Firefighters from Station 7 were dispatched to the incident and found a tractor trailer parked off the roadway with the cab fully involved and flames spread to the front of the trailer. Numerous 911 calls came in as citizens could see the smoke for several miles, according to a news release.

Firefighters started an aggressive attack on the fire to try and control the spread of flames. Due to a large saddle tank rupturing, firefighting efforts were challenged with the diesel fuel adding to the flames. Crews worked from two different sides of the cab to contain the fire and extinguish it. The cab was completely destroyed by the fire and the trailer suffered damage to the front. A second tractor trailer parked nearby suffered minor damage as a result of the radiant heat. The Fire Investigation Team determined the cause of the fire to be a mechanical issue, according to the release.

Just after 2 p.m. Sept. 5, communication officers also received a 911 call reporting a structure fire in the 400 block of Ellerbe Drive in Statham. The caller stated they saw smoke and fire coming from the rear of the home. Firefighters from three stations were dispatched to the incident.

Upon arrival of firefighters, they found smoke was coming from the eaves all around the home and fire visible in the back corner of the home. Crews quickly made entry in to the rear of the house and found heavy smoke conditions throughout and fire in the kitchen, laundry and attic areas. While some firefighters conducted a search of the residence looking for potential victims, other firefighters started an interior attack on the fire.

With an aggressive attack, firefighters were able to quickly bring the fire under control. After controlling the fire and stopping the spread of flames, firefighters worked to extinguish the fire. Due to the amount of smoke and fire upon arrival, the house suffered extensive damage. No one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries, according to the release. The Fire Investigation Team determined the fire to have been started by an unattended grill that had been used on the back deck of the home. The embers from the grill and accessories had landed on the wooden deck and smoldered until catching the deck on fire. The fire then spread in to the home from the deck.

“Citizens are reminded that grills of any kind should not be used on wooden surfaces or against a home as the heat and embers can cause fires,” said Capt. Scott Dakin. “We also want to remind them that coals from a grill can hold their heat for several days and should be disposed of properly.”

“Both of these incidents show the quality of our firefighters and the training they put in to be able to do their job. During both incidents, other calls were going on as well, such as a motor vehicle collision with a person entrapped,” said Chief Alan Shuman. “Our men and women pushed themselves hard physically to be able to stop the fire spread while working in mid-90-degree weather. They knew they had a job to do that would require them to push themselves in order to complete the task and prevent further damage. They completed the tasks quickly and effectively. Our battalion chiefs and captains were able to manage all scenes as they were happening simultaneously. This is one of the reasons why I am proud to work with the men and women of Barrow County Emergency Services.”


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