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Heavy fire damage reported at home near Lake Horton

It took firefighters just over four hours to bring a raging fire under control

at a home near Lake Horton in south Fayette County late Friday night, officials said.

The two-story home at 297 Burch Lake Road had flames coming through the roof when the first unit arrived at 10:44 p.m. with a six-minute response time. Due to the lack of a fire hydrant, crews used three tanker trucks to shuttle water to the scene continuously, said Capt. Pete Nelms of the Fayette County Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Firefighters entered the home to battle the flames from inside, and one firefighter suffered a minor injury at the scene, Nelms said. The firefighter was treated at Piedmont Fayette Hospital and later released, he said.

The home sustained heavy fire damage in the attic and upper roof area, Nelms said.

The fire, which was reported by the homeowner, is believed to have started in the chimney area of the home, Nelms said.

The City of Fayetteville assisted with fighting the fire, Nelms said. All told there were four fire engines, three tankers, two medic trucks, a rescue truck working the blaze.

County fire crews also fought two other smaller structure fires Sunday, Nelms said.

A home at 177 Morgan Road was evacuated at 4:41 a.m. when an attic fire was discovered. It took less than half an hour to get the fire under control, Nelms said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The one story home had extensive fire damage to the attic and secondary water damage on the main floor.

Also Sunday, at 9:30 p.m., county fire crews responded to a fire at 175 Gingercake Road. The occupants evacuated the home and it took 52 minutes to bring the fire under control, Nelms said.

When the first crew arrived there were flames showing at the rear of the home over a back door. Firefighters entered the home to battle the blaze.

A preliminary review has determined that the fire’s origin was electrical in nature, Nelms said.

The City of Fayetteville also assisted with the Gingercake Road fire as well, and the county appreciated the help, Nelms said.



I watched the efforts of the Fayette County Fire Department and was very dissappointed to their attack of the fire. We arrived as the first unit pulled on scene. I believe they tried to extinquish the fire with the water stored on the engine which is approximately 400 gallons. When we arrived, there was a small fire around the fireplace. This particular Road has no hydrants and if I remember from my firefighting days, when visible smoke or fire is showing, a hydrant should be attached so that you have ample amount of water to put out the fire. The Officer in charge should have known that there wasn,t a hydrant available and should have deployed the "shuttle system" earlier than they did. After the futal attempt to extinquish the fire, the drop tank was then set up ( 15-20 minutes late) the tankers were instructed to back up the driveway when I believe there was enough room to turn around if the tankers pulled in frontwards. This in my opinion would have saved time. I also noticed that the front porch lights were on and a TV inside was playing for 15 minutes or so until the transformer arched and tripped the electricity off. One of the first things to do when fighting an active fire, a safety issue to protect the fire fighters.

If properly attacked, I believe that some of the structure and contents could have been saved. I also noticed that the firefighters tried to use direct water rather than a spray to fight the fire. One nice piece of equipment was sitting idle on the street which is a ladder aerial unit and a lake was in the front yard but they never used it which they could have drafted water from one engine and pumped to the other. I hope that this fire is thoroughly looked at so that the training can increase to prevent what I believe to be a blunder. I have sought out the emergency staff of the Fayette County system several times and was extremely pleased to there efforts. Probably saving my life when I had a heart attack, and being an old firefighter, I would have liked to seen more professionalism when attacking this fire. All in all I am pleased with the efforts that these men and women contibute to the cause but would hope that they would be better at it in the future.

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