On Sunday December 16th just before 11 a.m. City of Morrow Communications dispatched City of Morrow Fire Rescue Units to Joy Lake Road in Lake City GA for a report of a working fire inside of a residence that is used for a business. En route, units were advised that there were several calls received confirming a working incident and that the upstairs of the business was being used as a 2 bedroom occupancy.
Fire Chief Herendeen was first on the scene, established command and reported heavy smoke and fire showing from a 2 story commercial type structure approx 100 ft by 75 ft. Engine 1 was advised to make an initial attack on the fire while Ladder 1 secured a positive water source.
Upon entering the structure with a handline Engine 1 crew encountered heavy smoke on the ground floor but were able to quickly complete a primary search and make their way to the second floor residential area. Upon entering the make-shift residential area they were met with heavy fire and smoke as well as very high temperatures because of the construction of the building. The initial attack was successful in putting a very quick stop on the blaze preventing fire from spreading downstairs to the commercial portion of the building where several vehicles and other commercial equipment were housed.
As additional units arrived on scene, more manpower was sent to assist engine one crew and a second handline was advanced into the front of the structure.
The building was laddered on the A/B side to assist with ventilation. An EMS unit was used to establish rehab for responding units.
The fire was declared under control very quickly but units remained on scene for several hours completing overhaul and extinguishing hotspots. Luckily there were no residential or firefighter injuries reported.
The occupants of the building were displaced after all contents upstairs were destroyed. The red cross was contacted by Chief Herendeen to ensure that the residents were assisted in relocating.
Fire Marshall Lt. Herb Jones reported that the blaze was started by food left on the stove. The owner of the building was cited by Lake City officials for having an illegal residence established in a business.
Units from Clayton County Fire Department were utilized on scene to assist with ventilation. An engine company from City of Riverdale was used for response coverage in the City of Morrow while units were operating at the fire.