Fires claim two homes

Published 3:33 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
The Atmore Fire &Rescue Department was busy last week as it responded to two house fires within 24 hours of each other.
"We had a pretty busy week," fire chief Gerry McGhee said. "Those were the first house fires we've had in a while. The guys did a great job, I can't say enough about them. They all do a good job and most have been with me for 15 to 25 years. They know what they're doing."
The first fire occurred at 4:14 p.m. on Sept. 29 at 63 Brown St..
"The occupant said that her daughter was cooking food on the stove and walked away and left the stove on and the next thing she knew the whole house was on fire," McGhee said.
When the fire department arrived on the scene, the fire had quickly spread to the attic. Firemen quickly extinguished the fire, but not before severe damage was done.
"The home and contents received moderate damage due to water and smoke," McGhee said.
Eight Atmore firemen responded to the fire, along with the Atmore Police Department and Kelley's Ambulance Service.
Friday, the department received a second fully involved house fire call at 834 Northgate Drive.
"A wall socket next to the stove and sink shorted out and caught the home on fire," McGhee said.
The call was received at 2:57 p.m. and firemen were on the scene at 3:05 p.m. and the mobile home was already totally involved.
"It doesn't take long for a house trailer to burn up," McGhee said. "When we got the call, we were not notified by the county that they were doing work on Martin Luther King, so we had to get another route. If we would have known about the work, we would have come off Hwy. 21 and it would have been a lot quicker to get to it. It delayed us a little bit, but not much."
McGhee said his men were able to put the fire out in a matter of five minutes, but the damage was already done. He said that the contents of the home were a total loss and the mobile home received moderate damage.
"My men stayed out there until 5:15 p.m. doing salvage, overhauling and making sure they had all the hot spots out," McGhee said. "We like to stick around to make sure everything is out because we don't like to go back to them."
Seven firemen responded to the blaze as well as the Atmore Police Department and Kelley's Ambulance Service.

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