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Brush fire threatens Senoia neighborhood

A number of homeowners in the Hutchinson Cove subdivision off Rockaway Road in Senoia got a scare June 14 when a mid-afternoon brush fire was flamed by windy conditions and quickly encroached on several homes along Victoria Trace. Two fences were damaged and one firefighter sustained a minor injury as fire crews and residents worked to contain the blaze.

In all there were a total of seven homes threatened by the fire, according to Coweta County Fire Dept. Assistant Fire Chief Mitch Coggins. The fire was first spotted around 3 p.m. and was all but extinguished before dark.

The brush fire was located immediately north of Victoria Trace in the Hutchinson Cove subdivision situated on the west side of Rockaway Road. The back yards of most of the homes along Victoria Trace are within 200 feet of the Georgia Power transmission lines.

Coggins said four Coweta fire trucks and a brush truck responded to the scene, as did a unit from the Georgia Forestry Commission. Units arrived to find heavy fire and smoke in the rear of four homes and onto the Georgia Power right-of-way. The fire spread quickly due to the high winds and heavy undergrowth in the area and eventually threatened seven homes, Coggins said.

The only injury reported was to a firefighter who experienced a minor ankle injury due to low visibility conditions and the only property damage was to privacy fences at two of the residences, said Coggins.

One of those affected by the flames was Victoria Trace resident Chad Rodgers who was alerted to the presence of the fire by his next door neighbor Bruce Smith. The fire missed Smith’s yard but burned through a portion of the wood fence in Rodgers’ back yard and scorched a section of grass.

Like others in the neighborhood, Smith and Rodgers used garden hoses to help keep the fire at bay as firefighters arrived and began the process of extinguishing the blaze.

Smith and his family had moved to the Hutchinson Cove subdivision just two weeks earlier from another location in Senoia.

“I saw a little bit of smoke and I thought the power people were burning,” Smith said, standing by the gate in his back yard as a Georgia Forestry Commission bulldozer cut a fire break through the trees and thick undergrowth just a few feet away. “Then the wind changed course and fire started blowing into our yards.”

Senoia Police Chief Jason Edens praised the work of firefighters for maintaining the integrity of the residences within the reach of the fire. Edens also praised residents for their quick work in protecting their homes and for assisting officers in the evacuation of several area homes.

The cause of the fire has not been determined and is currently under investigation by the county fire marshal.

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