After spending hours helping battle a blaze that destroyed a house in Ottaray, firefighters from three departments found themselves battling yet another house fire Monday afternoon.
The Union, Monarch and Southside fire departments were among nearly a dozen fire departments dispatched at 10:30 a.m. Monday morning to a house fire at 406 Sims Avenue in Ottaray. The building was totally engulfed by flames by the time the first units arrived on the scene, forcing firefighters to spend the next four hours extinguishing the blaze. Once this was done, the departments prepared to leave, but unlike their counterparts, Union, Monarch and Southside would not be leaving to return to their stations but to respond to their second fire call of the day.
“We were still on the scene when the call came in at 2:32 p.m.” Union Fire Commander Larry Robinson said. “We left there and went straight to the fire on West Henrietta Street. Monarch and Southside also responded.”
Six minutes after they were notified of the second house fire of the day, Union, Monarch and Southside firefighters were on the scene at 406 W. Henrietta St., Union. Robinson said that, unlike the Ottaray fire, the blaze at the West Henrietta Street residence had not engulfed the entire building by the time firefighters arrived. He said firefighters were to able to bring the fire under control and extinguish it within a little over an hour and prevented the building from being destroyed.
“There was a lot of heat damage but I think the building can be repaired,” Robinson said.
Damage to the house itself was estimated at $40,000 with another $15,000 worth of its contents damaged as well.
The fire on West Henrietta Street is believed to have been the result of a short in a space heater in a bedroom. Robinson said the short set nearby bedding on fire. He said the fire was just beginning to spread from the bedroom to the hallway when firefighters arrived. The ceiling of the bedroom had also collapsed and the fire was reaching into the attic, but Robinson said firefighters were able prevent it from spreading into the rest of the house.
Robinson said no one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. This was another difference between that fire and the one the departments spent all morning battling. The fire in Ottaray killed two women and severely injured a one-year-old child who was airlifted to the Augusta Burn Center in Augusta, Ga. where she remained hospitalized as of Tuesday afternoon.