Thursday, February 22, 2007
Fire destroys Hernando Road home
By SUE WATSON
Robert Harris lost his house to fire last week in an early morning blaze.
Holly Springs Fire Chief Kenny Holbrook said the mobile home Harris was renting was fully involved when firefighters arrived at 7:51 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 15.
The fire was thought to have been caused by a malfunctioning, wood-burning heater, he said.
“He had a pretty good fire in it and was asleep in his room and woke up to find his house was on fire,” Holbrook said.
Harris was not injured.
The mobile home was totally gutted and all contents damaged, he said.
Firefighters got the call to 1290 Hernando Road while finishing up on a call at Wal-Mart where a meat display case malfunctioned.
Holbrook said the lighting circuit in the meat case had an electrical short and employees had used a powder fire extinguisher which had kept the fire in check until firefighters arrived at 7:11 a.m.
In other news, the Holly Springs Fire Department received notification it will receive a $119,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Holbrook said.
The money will be used to purchase equipment like breathing apparatuses, fire hoses, a commercial washing machine and to pay for firefighter training.
Last year the department received a Fire Act Grant for $286,000 which was used for radio upgrades at E-911, the city and county fire departments and emergency management.
Holbrook said his department has been fortunate to have received $1.6 million in grant monies over the last five years to purchase equipment that the city would not otherwise have been able to pay for and to hire new personnel.
“We have been able to create our own revenue and that is money citizens don’t have to spend,” he said. “We are very appreciative to FEMA, to the City of Holly Springs (for matching funds), and to Senators Thad Cochran and Trent Lott and Rep. Roger Wicker for legislation for these grant dollars. Without these type of funds, we wouldn’t be able to buy these types and quality of equipment. It would take us many budget years to do this.”
Holbrook said the department is fortunate to have the very best equipment to work with.
“That enables us to provide a high grade of fire protection and safety,” he said.
Today’s firefighters do much more than put out fires. They are the first responders to motor vehicle accidents and usually are the first to arrive at the scene of a vehicle accident and the last to leave.
On February 28 at 6 p.m., the Holly Springs Fire Department will hold a severe weather spotter’s class called “Sky Watch,” put on by the National Weather Service. The event is open to anyone interested at no cost, Holbrook said.
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