Flames engulf home

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Atmore Fire Department personnel work quickly to extinguish the fire which destroyed this home on West Craig Street early Saturday morning.|Photo by Adam Prestridge

More than a dozen firefighters from the Atmore and Poarch fire departments battled an early morning fire Saturday off Craig Street at the corner of Tatom Avenue.

The fire broke out just before 2 a.m. at 800 W. Craig St. and was totally involved upon arrival of fire personnel.

“When we arrived flames were going everywhere; the house was totally involved,” Fire Chief Gerry McGhee said.

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Thirteen firefighters from the Atmore Fire Department and three from the Poarch Fire Department battled the blaze, which was tough to extinguish, according to McGhee.

“They handled the fire real well,” McGhee said. “It took us a while to get it under control, so I’m just glad that no one got hurt. I appreciate Poarch coming out and backing us up and to all of my men for responding to the fires late at night; it helps out a lot knowing that we will have firemen come out to help us save lives and people’s property. Everyone worked real well together. ”

The fire call was made to dispatchers with the Atmore Police Department at 1:58 a.m., according to AFD Assistant Fire Chief Mike Staples. Upon arrival, firefighters began dumping hundreds of gallons of water on the fire as they worked to smother the flames. Alabama Power Company was also called to the scene to cut power from the residence as the main power lines leading to the dwelling began sparking and popping as firefighters fought the blaze.

The owner of the home, Karean Reynolds, arrived at the scene of the fire shortly after firefighters and stood in the roadway in disbelief as his home, belongings and his blue Chevrolet pickup truck parked in front of the house went up in flames.

“He (Reynolds) informed us that he had been gone since around 6 p.m. that evening,” Staples said.

Jones also stated to fire officials at the scene that he left no appliances or heaters running when he left the residence.

McGhee said the home is a total loss and that the fire is currently under investigation by the Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office out of Montgomery.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.

Atmore and Poarch firefighters teamed up once again early Tuesday morning for another “totally involved” fire at 1214 N. Main St., Lot 12 in section two of the North Main Mobile Home Park off Hwy. 21.

“When we got there, it was totally involved as well,” McGhee said.

A total of eight fire units and 12 firefighters from Atmore responded to the early morning fire, which was reported at 4:45 a.m., and three Poarch firefighters.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Staples said it may have been as a result of the below normal cold temperatures.

“We are looking at a space heater located in the back bedroom as the cause of the fire,” Staples said.

The owner of the mobile home, Essie Jones, was the only occupant at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported.