Fires destroys home, building

Published 1:48 pm Monday, March 30, 2015

Florala firefighters battle the blaze at a residence on Ninth Avenue Sunday morning. | Courtesy photo

Florala firefighters battle the blaze at a residence on Ninth Avenue Sunday morning. | Courtesy photo

Members of Florala’s fire department live for long days, and they got one Sunday, when they were called to three fires within a 24-hour period.

FFD Chief Jarred Martin said two fires occurred at a residence on Ninth Avenue, while another occurred at an abandoned building on 10th Street.

Upon arrival, Martin said firefighters found heavy fire showing on the front of the house, thereby warranting an “offensive attack” with the 1-and-three-quarter-inch attack lines. The FFD received the call at 1:15 a.m. Sunday after the house’s resident made it out safely to call 911.

“Firefighters vented the roof to allow heat and gases to escape,” Martin said. “Once the fire was knocked down, firefighters began overhaul and used the thermal imaging camera to find the hot spots so they could be extinguished.”

Martin said the fire marshal came to the residence and determined the cause was from a natural gas heater.

Martin said the department was called back out to the Ninth Avenue house because the fire rekindled at 1:43 p.m.

“It was fully involved when we got there,” Martin said.

Engines 5, 2 and Brush 6 responded with 15 personnel to the Ninth Avenue residence.

The fire call for an abandoned building on 10th Street went out at 10:05 p.m., and Martin said by the time firefighters arrived, the building was already on the ground.

“It was collapsing when we got there,” he said. “The damage was too extensive to find a cause.”

By the time the FFD went back into service, it was 11:43 p.m.

Martin said it was a long day, but the guys did an “excellent” job.

“It was a very, very tiring day,” he said. “We had 17 respond at one and 15 at the other. That’s very good, numbers wise. It’s still very taxing and stressful. Any other firefighter will tell you that three structure fires in one day will drain you.”

Both structures were declared complete losses.

The Lockhart Fire Department, the Florala Police Department and Florala EMS also responded to the scenes.