No injuries, three dogs saved
Johnson County fire departments responded to two house fires last week in as many days.
With last week’s temperatures in the single-digits to low-teens, and extreme wind-chill factors, battling the fires were a challenge for local volunteer firefighters.
“As long as we were working and moving around, it was not bad,” said Vienna’s fire chief Aaron Goldenstien.
“It’s when we were standing in one spot for a short while, or picking up the equipment, ‘it hurt!’”
“We had several hoses to freeze that had to be thawed at the station,” Goldenstien noted.
Many of the firemen had thick layers of ice accumulate on their protective helmets and suits when they returned to their fire station.
Goreville’s fire chief Tim Gage echoed Goldenstien’s comments.
Vienna, Jan. 7
Vienna Fire Department responded at around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evening, Jan. 7 to reports of fire at 1540 Old Route 146 Loop, west of Vienna.
A rental house owned by Alan Clayton was fully engulfed by flames when firemen arrived on the scene. The rental house was located next to Clayton’s home.
The tenant, Steve Vinson was not home at the time of the fire.
No injuries were reported.
Buncombe, Goreville and New Burnside departments assisted the Vienna department with more than 30 volunteers on the scene for four hours.
The house and its contents was a total loss.
The fire marshal has not yet determined the cause of the fire.
A second house fire was reported Thursday, Jan. 8 at around 12:30 p.m. at 780 Happy Hollow Rd. near Goreville. The caller reported fire in the crawlspace of the house.
Everyone quickly got out of the house uninjured.
Three family dogs were in the house during the fire. Two labs made their way out on their own once the fire was contained.
The third, a Yorkie, was recovered by Lake Egypt fireman Frank Huffstutler.
All three dogs were shaking, but appeared to be unharmed.
According to Goreville fire chief Gage, the house is owned by William Salamone. It received extensive smoke and water damage.
Gage said the fire was caused by a portable space heater placed under the house to thaw frozen waterlines.
Gage was amazed that the three pets made it out of the house ok. “As much smoke as there was, we were certain they could not have survived.”
“The last time I talked to the homeowners, all three dogs were fine,” Gage said Friday afternoon.
Lake Egypt, Buncombe and Vienna fire departments assisted at the fire. Twenty-four firefighters were on the scene for about three hours.