Fannin County Fire Department responds to multiple fires

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BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Fannin County Emergency Response Teams responded to several fire-related calls over the weekend and into early Monday morning.

On Saturday evening, the Fannin County Fire Department (FCFD) responded to a 9:12 p.m. call of a residential fire at a rental cabin on 885 Brittney Dr. in Epworth. Crews arrived on scene at 9:34 p.m.

According to Fire Chief Larry Thomas, the fire began in an outside chimney and quickly spread to endanger the house. Fourteen firefighters along with three engines and two tankers were able to contain the fire to the chimney.

No injuries were sustained as a result of the incident, Thomas said.

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Miner Springs Apartments fire. Photo Courtesy of Kelly Wisner.

Later in the weekend, FCFD was dispatched to a report of a fire located at the Mineral Springs apartment complex at 3:46 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26.

Kelly Wisner, a resident of Mineral Springs Apartments, recounted the events that took place that afternoon. “I had just woken up from a nap and looked out my window,” Wisner explained. “I saw smoke and told my husband the building across from us was on fire. We immediately got on our shoes and split.”

Kelly Wisner and her husband, Jason Wisner, ran to the building that was on fire and adjacent buildings to warn residents of the fire and the need to evacuate and move their vehicles. Kelly Wisner also placed a call to 911 during this time.

Meanwhile, Jason Wisner ran into the building that was aflame and banged on doors alerting everyone to get out. Kelly Wisner, when speaking of her husband’s courageous act, said, “He doesn’t look at himself as a hero. He just says that he did what anyone would do.”

Chief Thomas stated the fire started on the back deck of a ground floor unit. Thomas said, “The fire traveled up the wall to the second floor and into the attic. We were able to put the fire out in the apartment that it had engulfed and put the fire out in the attic.”

According to a representative with Mineral Springs Apartments, three units suffered damaged due to the fire. All units in the building, however, must remain vacated until an inspection can be done and power is restored.

In addition to the residents who got out of the building safely, FCFD also reports that they were able to rescue six cats, one pet snake and one pet canary.

FCFD also responded to a fire located at the Open Arms home. A call came in at 8:36 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, and units were on scene within 18 minutes.

Open Arms is a nonprofit organization for children who have been abused or neglected. The program offers a number of services including short-term residential care.

According to a post made on Open Arms Facebook page:

“It’s with a sad heart that I inform you that around 8:30 p.m. last night (Sunday Night) a fire occurred at the Open Arms Home for Children. All of our girls and staff got out of the home safely and unharmed but our home is most likely a complete loss.”

It went on to say:

“God spared our girls and staff tonight. A few hours later and they all might have been in a deep sleep and the outcome could have been much more devastating.”

A state investigator was on the scene of the Open Arms home fire for suspected arson. Captain Justin Turner with the Fannin County Sheriff’s Department was able to confirm that the fire was intentionally set and a juvenile is currently in custody.

The case remains an open investigation.

At 1:49 a.m. Monday, Nov. 27, FCFD responded to the scene of a truck fire at Advanced Disposal located at 10169 Lakewood Hwy. in Mineral Bluff.

One of Advanced Disposal’s compactor trucks had caught fire. The cause of the fire is undetermined and currently still under investigation.

No one was injured during this fire. The compactor truck suffered significant damage and damage to other vehicles parked nearby was also reported .

 

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

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Copperhill, McCaysville continue Christmas parade tradition

Community

COPPERHILL, Tenn. – History is synonymous with life here in southern Appalachia, and perhaps nowhere is history more apparent in our area than in the Copper Basin region of north Georgia and east Tennessee.

A large part of that deep-rooted history continued Saturday afternoon, Dec. 2, on the streets of McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee, as the 59th annual Christmas Parade delighted hundreds of festive onlookers lining the streets and bridges of the twin cities.

Each year, the Kiwanis Club of Copperhill sponsors the parade, and as Howard Jabaley, the local Kiwanis chapter president, explained, this is a tradition that goes back a very long time. Though there has been a break or two through the years, one being during the early 1940s while WWII was taking place, the parade, and the Kiwanis Club’s participation, traces its roots all the way back to 1923, according to Jabaley.

“We look forward to it every year,” Jabaley said of the Kiwanis Club’s involvement in the Holiday tradition. As for this year’s turnout, Jabaley stated, “We were really surprised at the number of people.”

Copperhill, Ducktown and McCaysville mayors Kathy Stewart, Doug Collins and Thomas Seabolt, respectively, greeted parade goers.

This year, McCaysville Police Chief Michael Earley kicked the event off by leading the way down West Tennessee Avenue, Blue Ridge Drive and eventually making the turn down Ocoee Street and into the Volunteer State. Close behind in a shiny silver convertible were McCaysville Mayor Thomas Seabolt, Copperhill Mayor Kathy Stewart and Ducktown Mayor Doug Collins tossing handfuls of candy to excited young parade goers.

According to Collins, years ago, the parade would make its rounds in the twin cities and then pack up and head north three miles on Hwy. 68 to downtown Ducktown to give the residents there an annual Holiday display.

“All in all everyone seemed to enjoy it (this year),” Collins said of the parade. Speaking of the importance of continuing the parade’s tradition, Collins stressed, “It’s good to instill it to the kids, so that they’ll  keep it going one day.”

For those kids, the usual display of fire engines and emergency vehicles from the Copperhill Volunteer Fire Department, East Polk Fire and Rescue and the Fannin County Fire department passed the masses on sidewalks with glowing red lights and blaring sirens.

Of course, no parade would be complete without a pack of thunderous motorcycles rumbling through the streets and shaking storefront windows, their riders all donning Santa hats.

A large group of motorcycle riders revved their engines loudly to the delight of onlookers.

Boy Scouts Troop 32, of Epworth, and 14, of Ducktown, marched down the route proudly carrying flags and banners. Two high schools, Fannin County High and Copper Basin High, participated again in this year’s festivities, offering up Holiday tunes played by their respective bands and escorting their 2017 homecoming queens in snazzy-looking  convertibles.

Several elaborate floats from churches and various organizations and businesses glided down the twin cities’ streets with joyful youngsters atop singing traditional Holiday carols. Vintage cars, trucks, tractors and even dune buggies added to the down-home display.

Following at a safe distance away from the hustle and bustle of the parade lead were the Back Country Horsemen of North Georgia with an impressive display of thoroughbreds.

All the way from the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus made a special appearance Saturday at the 59th annual Kiwanis Copperhill/McCaysville Christmas Parade.

Finally, honored guests from the North Pole visited the Copper Basin Saturday as Santa and Mrs. Claus lifted the spirits of anxious children with the familiar yule-time cheer of “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

As the friendly faces of so many familiar folks passed, both in the parade and on the sidewalks, through downtown McCaysville and Copperhill on a sunny December afternoon, it was easy to see why this wonderful tradition has stood the test of time for so long. And it is safe to say that the sense of community of these two mountain towns will keep this great tradition of history alive for generations to come.

Featured image: Nicholson Tire provided an interesting-looking snowman on their float that the Michelin Man would be proud of.

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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

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Fatal Home Fire in Fannin County

News

BLUE RIDGE, GA – Fannin County Fire Department (FCFD) responded to three fires last week, one of those fires resulted in the fatality of the homeowner.

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Location of fatal house fire on Toccoa Forest Lane.

FCFD received a dispatch at 10:21 A.M on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, to a house fire located at 216 Toccoa Forest Lane. The dispatch warned that there was a possible entrapment involved. Responders arrived on the scene 15 minutes later.

Fire/Rescue Chief and EMA Deputy Director Larry Thomas explained that upon arrival the area of the structure where the homeowner was located was “fully engulfed and had already started collapsing.”

Twelve emergency responders with FCFD arrived on the scene, but were unable to get to the trapped occupant. Don Howard, age 65, passed away due to smoke inhalation.

FCFD responded to another house fire last week located at 260 Fain Street. Dispatch was received on Thursday, October 19, 2017, and FCFD was on the scene within seven minutes.

FetchYourNews, Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Walmart, Fire Department

Foul play is suspected in Walmart fire.

Upon arrival smoke and flames were seen at the backside of the house. FCFD was able to contain and extinguish the fire.

On Sunday, October 24 at 2:14 A.M. FCFD responded to a third call pertaining to a fire. The fire was detected inside Walmart located at 97 Commerce Drive in Blue Ridge. The fire began in a disposal cart for cardboard containers located within the store.

Thomas confirmed that when FCFD arrived on the scene, that Walmart employees had been successful in moving the cart outside of the store. Foul play is suspected at this time and the incident is currently being investigated by the City of Blue Ridge Police Department.

While no foul play is suspected in either of the two home fires, both fires remain under investigation.

 

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

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

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