2- Alarm Georgia House Fire Injures Firefighter, Leaves Family Homeless

WALKER COUNTY, GA - Wednesday, May 10,2006 - 7:00 pm - Several Walker County Fire units were dispatched to a reported house fire at 306 Alabama Street, just a couple blocks off of Highway 27 in North Georgia.

The first company on the scene was Walker County Engine #7. Lieutenant Metcalfe reported heavy involvement to the structure and immediately started pumping the truck.

Firefighter Jason Kirby and Firefighter Terry Carter quickly started an interior attack through the front door with an inch and 3/4 hose line. One of the second units on the scene was Walker County Fire Chief Randy Camp.

Chief Camp initiated a secondary attack with another hose line. Within seconds a collapse in the rear of the structure indicated the fire was already well seated and had a strong jump on the firefighters. Chief Camp requested a second alarm assignment to the scene as well as additional mutual aid from the neighboring East Ridge Fire Department.

During the collapse, extreme heat and flames were force toward Firefighter Jason Kirby and Firefighter Terry Carter's attack position inside the structure.

Unfortunately Walker County Firefighter Jason Kirby received some burns. Due to extensive training tactics and a strong will, Firefighter Kirby continued to battle the blaze. Like a cowboy taking a bull by the horns, Firefighter Kirby and Firefighter Carter aggressively battled the flames for several long minutes until additional fire crews arrived on the scene.

After additional fire crews arrived, Firefighter Kirby was transported to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee by Paramedics with Hutcheson EMS. His burns were believed to be just first degree burns.

Thankfully Firefighter Kirby's Full Protective Fire gear saved him from more serious injuries.

Several additional fire crews arrived on the scene within just a few minutes, including the additional firefighters from the East Ridge Fire Department.

Over 30 firefighters diligently battled the fire for nearly an hour and a half before bringing it under control. Amazingly enough, the firefighters were able to stop the fire in its tracks. Unfortunately the fire had already consumed so much that the structure was destroyed.

Firefighters were able to save a large number of valuables such as papers and pictures.

A woman, her father, and three children lived in the house. A neighbor said they had just left to go to church a short time before the fire broke out. One of the woman's children was going to be baptized. Several neighbors were also asked to evacuate their house due to how close the houses were.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by Walker County Fire Officials.

Loss was estimated at $150,000.