Barrow County firefighters responded to a pair of house fires Wednesday, Oct. 2, and Thursday, Oct. 3.
According to a Barrow County Emergency Services news release, crews responded to a fire in the 1300 block of Highway 211 NW around 4:45 p.m. Oct. 2 and found heavy smoke coming from the eaves of the house and fire on the back of the structure. No one was home, and the house appeared to be empty and undergoing renovation, according to the release.
The attic space between the roof and the ceiling of the one story modular home was very small, which allowed the fire to spread quickly across the attic. Interior crews had a difficult time initially finding all of the fire hidden in the small spaces above them, the release said. The nearest hydrant was almost a half mile away, so a water shuttle operation was begun.
"This technique uses a fire engine to shuttle water between the hydrant and the engine fighting the fire. Mutual aid was provided by West Jackson Fire Department, which assisted with a water tender (a large water tank mounted to a truck), the release said. Fire investigators determined the fire was the result of a "human act" and began on the back deck of the structure. The investigation is ongoing as more information is gathered from witnesses who may have seen the fire in its early stages.
A second fire was reported at about 3:15 a.m. Thursday in the 700 block of Hog Mountain Road.
Crews arrived to find a single-story residence with smoke and fire coming from the side of the home. A resident met with fire crews to report that everyone was out of the structure. Firefighters made a fast attack on the fire and knocked down most of the flames from outside before going into the structure to completely extinguish the fire, the release said. A pet snake was found alive and removed to return to the resident.
“Much of the structures were saved in both of these fires, and no one was hurt,” said Barrow County Emergency Services Chief Alan Shuman. “Our crews faced multiple challenges, including high outside temperatures, limited water supply, and difficult to access areas inside a structure. I’m proud to say the crews overcame these challenges and proved themselves to be the professionals they continually train to be.”