Fatal house fire claims one life in Epworth

Fannin County EMA/EMS, News

EPWORTH, Ga. – Fannin County Emergency crews responded to a fatal house fire in the early evening hours of Thursday, March 1.

A call came into Fannin County E-911 at 5:32 p.m. of a porch fire located at 2111 Old Epworth Road in Epworth.

Firefighter Britt Jones, first to arrive on the scene, quickly noticed that the fire had spread and was beginning to engulf the home.

Jones radioed for back up personel and also requested law enforcement assistance to close off roadways and direct traffic.

“The fire started on the ground floor front porch,” Fire Chief Larry Thomas said, explaining the rapid spread of the flames, “and it moved up to the balcony porch above. When we got there about eight minutes after the initial call, the fire had entered the second floor and the attic.”

A death that occurred Thursday evening, March 1, in connection with a fire at this residence on Old Epworth Road in Epworth is still being investigated the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Neighbors and passers-by had attempted to alert anyone that might be in the home. These good samaritans informed emergency personnel that they had knocked on doors and windows in an effort to locate anyone that might be inside.

Engine 4, Engine 5 and Medic 4 responded to the urgent situation. A total of 18 firefighters were present to battle the flames.

Along with fire and medic engines, a Light and Air unit was also on the scene. A Light and Air unit is a specialized piece of firefighting equipment used to provide supplemental lighting and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air bottles at the scene of an emergency.

Firefighters were able to extinguish flames around the entry way of the house and upon ascending the steps of the front porch where the initial blaze began, emergency workers instantly located a body.

The discovery of the deceased initiated crews to immediately enter the structure and search for others that might be trapped in the home.

“Crews were on scene until around 10 p.m. that night,” Thomas recalled of the events of the evening.

According to rental history of the property, the current tenant is listed as Matthew Stevens. The body of the deceased, however, is yet to be identified and is presently in the possession of Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

While the cause of the fire is officially still under investigation, EMA workers on the scene report that the deceased had been creating Lichtenberg Figures in wood, and it is likely that this hobby led to the fire as well as the death.

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An example of Lichtenberg Figures burned into wood.

These Lichtenberg Figures are created when wood is burned using electricity. Equipment for this dangerous hobby was found on the front porch. The official cause of death has not been released but is speculated, due to the equipment found, to be caused by electrocution.

This is the first fatal fire that the Fannin County Fire Department (FCFD) has responded to in 2018. FCFD responded to three fatal fires in 2017.

Thomas would like to remind residents that when fire hoses are across roadways to please avoid that roadway. A vehicle running over one of these hoses can damage the line and interrupt the water flow.

“I know it can be inconvenient for drivers, but these lines really are our number one tool in fighting fires,” Thomas explained. “The interruption in our supply line can be very dangerous for our crews on the scene.”

 

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Downtown Blue Ridge Natural Gas Leak

Downtown Blue Ridge, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Crews continue to work on a Natural Gas leak reported earlier this morning. City workers hit a natural gas line on West First Street prompting a mandatory evacuation in the area.

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Crews are on the scene of Natural Gas leak downtown.

Atlanta Gas Light officials along with Fannin County emergency personnel are on the scene to address the issue.

“We have a dig crew here now to get the line clamped off.” Fire Chief Larry Thomas explained about the progress on the situation.

Thomas went on, “It’s not as simple as just turning off the gas to the line. That would disrupt a large area of our county.”

A crew from Atlanta Gas Light is presently digging an area near the break.

“Once they can get the line uncovered, they can clamp it off and begin work to repair the broken line,” Thomas added.

When the clamp is in place, repairs are expected to move quickly.

Fire Chief Larry Thomas and Fannin County EMA Director Robert Graham are monitoring the situation closely and have notified Fannin County School System (FCSS) that it is safe to start returning students and staff to Blue Ridge Elementary.

FCSS sent out the following message:

We have received clearance from public safety officials that we may now return Blue Ridge Elementary students to their campus. Students are being transported from Fannin County High School back to Blue Ridge Elementary at this time. The usual end of the day procedures for parent pick up and bus dismissal will be followed at all schools with no changes. Again, Blue Ridge Elementary students are returning to their campus now, and when the school day ends today, all schools will dismiss at the usual time using their normal afternoon procedures. Thank you.

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Evacuation In Place For Parts of Downtown Blue Ridge

Downtown Blue Ridge, News

BLUE RIDGE, GA – Workers have hit a natural gas line near the intersection of West First Street and Mountain Street in downtown Blue Ridge.

Reported around 10:45 A.M on Thursday, November, 9, 2017, a natural gas line has been damaged causing a leak in the area.

Fire Chief Larry Thomas is on the scene, and reports that the damage has not been able to be surveyed, but will be done promptly as soon as the gas is shut off to the line. Atlanta Gas Light officials were notified and are on the scene as well.

There is a mandatory evacuation in place. Thomas states that the evacuation zone will be “300 to 500 feet.”

This zone includes Blue Ridge Elementary School (BRES). Students from BRES have been transported to Fannin County High School.

From Fannin County School System via Facebook:

The City of Blue Ridge has contacted the school system to ask that Blue Ridge Elementary be evacuated as a precautionary measure due to a gas line break.

There is no immediate danger to students at Blue Ridge Elementary, but out of an abundance of caution public safety officials feel that moving the students away from the incident is best. Buses are leaving Blue Ridge Elementary now, transporting students to Fannin County High School.

No other schools are affected by this gas line situation; all of those students are safe and activities on these campuses will continue as normal.

The Veteran’s day program that was scheduled for 1:00 today at Blue Ridge Elementary is canceled.

The decision when to return to Blue Ridge Elementary has not been made at this time. Blue Ridge students will be at Fannin County High School at this time but possibly returning to the school once an all clear is issued.

From Fannin County EMA via Nixle:

There is a 300 foot mandatory evacuation from Cook St and West 1st St intersection in Blue Ridge due to a natural gas line break.  Fire Department and Atlanta Gas Light officials are on scene.

Instructions:

There is a 300 foot mandatory evacuation from Cook St and West 1st St intersection in Blue Ridge due to a natural gas line break.

Residents are asked to try to avoid the area until further notice.

Follow FetchYourNews for the latest updates on this developing situation.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Fannin County Fire Department held its annual Christmas Breakfast & recognized some special people

Community

The Fannin County Fire Department held its annual Christmas Breakfast on Friday morning, December the 16th.  The food and fellowship was wonderful as the fire department and EMS gathered and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast.

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The breakfast was followed by some very special and well deserved accommodation and recognition.

The first ever special delivery pin was bestowed on Carolyn McLinden and Tracy Padgett who delivered a little girl during an ambulance ride.  It was November when the call came and the expectant mother explained it was her 3rd and it was coming soon.  The little baby girl and mother are doing fine.  The little girl was named Story and she will always have a special story on how she came into the world…in a hurry!

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Other special recognition awarded to the well trained men and women in the Fannin County Fire Department and EMS for life saving actions.  One call at the Home Depot and another where a gentleman collapsed while riding a 4 wheeler.  Both times the quick actions keep the patients alive and able to be with their families this Christmas!

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Below is a group picture with local businessman and volunteer Kevin Panter holding an address sign.  These make great gifts and all proceeds go to the Fannin County Fire Department & EMS.  You can place your order at Kevin Panter Insurance in Blue Ridge, GA for only $20.  These signs can be life saving when emergency personnel are answering calls and trying to find you.

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These dedicated men and women do a great job and our community is lucky to have them.  One of the patients, Carl H. Riggs, who survived based on the quick rescue actions wasn’t able to stop by but left this statement,

 

Carl H Riggs I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to attend this morning. These guys are the reason I’m alive today and I say a prayer each day to keep them safe.
Merry Christmas

 

 

 

 

Fannin County Fire Department Takes Delivery of New Trucks

News

Fannin County Fire Department received delivery of 2 new trucks on December 28th 2015.  The trucks were delivered mid afternoon to Station #1 in Blue Ridge, Georgia.

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The new trucks are a brush/rescue & a tanker. Fire Chief Larry Thomas will decide which stations they will give to but possibly Mineral Bluff & McCaysville, Georgia will be receiving the new vehicles.  Fannin Fire Chief Larry Thomas, Fannin County Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Graham,  Commission Chair Bill Simonds, Post Commissioners Earl Johnson and Larry Joe Sosebee came to take a look at the delivery of their new Fouts Bros. 2000 Gallon Tanker and 9’ Mini Pumper.

 

Blue Ridge Veteran’s Day Parade

Community, Featured Stories

Fire trucks, police cars and other vehicles lined up as they traveled from the First Baptist Church of Blue Ridge, down Main Street, to East First Street to the Veteran’s Memorial Park to honor those who have served this great nation. (more…)

Author

MG

Blue Ridge Elementary Students Meet Fire and EMS Staff

Featured Stories, Rebel's Corner

With October being National Fire Prevention Week being this month, the Fannin County Fire Department and EMS have been fairly busy traveling from one elementary school to another educating children on fires and how to handle them appropriately. (more…)

Author

MG

East Fannin Learns Fire Safety

Rebel's Corner

With October being National Fire Prevention Week being this month, the Fannin County Fire Department and EMS have been fairly busy traveling from one elementary school to another educating children on fires and how to handle them appropriately. (more…)

Author

MG

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