Thursday, January 26, 2012
Structure fires reported
By SUE WATSON
Four structure fires in the Watson Fire Department district were reported by chief Ron Rhea. He said most are believed to have been caused by improper use of electric space heaters.
The first fire occurred December 3 on 26 Brumley Road when a single-wide burned. The fire was caused by a space heater, he said. The heater was situated up on a dresser and did not have the required three feet of space away from combustible materials.
An 18-year-old was alone and asleep in the bed and awoke and ran out of the house, Rhea said. His mother and two other children were not at home at the hour.
The fire was reported at 1:26 a.m.
“It had no working smoke detector; it was very lucky on him,” Rhea said.
“The single-wide was on the ground when we arrived and Watson and Byhalia fire departments reported.”
A second fire on Christmas morning destroyed a two-story home at 1156 Mt. Siani Road, he said. The house was not occupied at the time, with family members in Chicago, Ill. The fire was believed to have started in the upstairs master bedroom where an oil-based electric heater may have been left on. The fire was reported about 7:51 a.m.
Watson Fire Department responded, as well as the Byhalia, Red Banks and Holly Springs fire departments.
“Fire was starting to make the roof sag and we had to get out. It collapsed,” Rhea said.
A fire at 163 King Road in the Matthews Corner area destroyed a double-wide mobile home January 12, Rhea said. The fire was reported at about 6:30 a.m. and the mobile home was about 50 percent involved when firefighters arrived.
“Flames were coming out from everywhere and the roof was falling in,” Rhea said.
The Watson Fire Department and Holly Springs Fire Department responded with its Engine 3 big tanker and Byhalia Fire Department also reported.
During the same time frame, a pool house fire at 1116 Woods Road was put out December 29. The fire was dispatched at 1:35 p.m.
“The fire was believed to be caused by an electric space heater left on in the pool house for a small puppy. Neighbors saw smoke and called in,” Rhea said.
Byhalia and Watson fire departments responded. Victoria Fire Department was waved off because the fire was under control.
Rhea said electric space heater fires are usually caused by the improper use of the heaters.
“A lot of them are due to cold weather and people are not using them properly,” he said. “They forget a lot of common sense things. A lot of people do not know how dangerous they are.”
There also needs to be working smoke alarms, he said. They cost about $10 and can save lives.
“We’ve had about four structure fires in a month and in three of them the family lost everything,” he said.
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