WEST WILLIAMSON — Mingo County 911 dispatchers alerted the Williamson Fire Department (WFD) of a single family dwelling structure fire on Saturday afternoon that was located at the end of Slater Street in West Williamson, on top of the hill at Fairview Cemetery.
According to WFD Chief Jerry Mounts, upon arrival, firefighters were presented with a wood frame house engulfed in flames that was burning out of control 25 ft. away from an adjacent home of similar construction. Energized and arcing power lines were dangling in the yard, and nearly 1000 ft. hose had to be run from the nearest fire hydrant.
The initial attack crew composed of Lt. S. Casey and B. Hager deployed a straight lay from the hydrant at 509 Slater Street to the fire, and provided sufficient water pressure for firefighters to fight the fire with two hand lines from Engine 7, while at the same time Lt. J. Carey entered the scene in Engine 5 via Crestview Drive on the east side of the structure. With Engine 5’s 500 gallons of on board water, firefighter B. Hensley was able to temporarily knock down the fire that was consuming side the front of the structure. The 60 second, large volume water spray provided just enough water to afford a safe entry point for firefighters to begin an interior attack.
WFD Engine 9 along with senior firefighters M. Mounts and E. Pennington was used to deploy a single hand line from its 750 gallons of on board water for additional fire suppression. To prevent the tank on Engine 9 from running dry, Chattaroy Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) firefighters under the direction of Chief Joe Rumore pumped water directly into the tank from their 2000 gallon Truck 2 tanker. This enabled uninterrupted use of the third attack hand line.
“There are a couple of locations in our city that due to their remote isolated location, it may not be feasible to run the necessary 6 or 8 inch water line to it for a fire hydrant,” stated Chief Mounts. “Although all of our front line apparatuses are equipped with on board water sources for fires such as vehicle fires, blitz attack maneuvers, and fires in which a readily available water source isn’t available, a constant water source for a fire of this magnitude is an absolute necessity.”
“For those few areas, we now have access to CVFD’s 2000 gallon tanker as a result of a recently enacted Automatic Aid Agreement between the WFD and the CVFD. The agreement enables the departments to join resources and manpower.”
“This was a well-run scene, effectively coordinated on all fronts. Lt. Casey did an excellent job obtaining water under adverse conditions, no firefighters were injured thanks to Safety Officer D. Goolsby, the adjacent structure was spared from any damage, communications with 911 Dispatchers were superb, AEP’s response was quick, and in spite of the long hydrant lay - water pressure was good.”
The unoccupied structure was said to have been owned by Phyllis Lloyd. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time and remains under investigation.