Athens Review, Athens, Texas

July 2, 2013

Fire hurts three

Westside VFD firefighters OK after home blaze

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

ATHENS — Three Westside Volunteer Fire Department members were overcome by heat at a house fire on Royal Drive south of Chandler Tuesday morning.

The three males, who range in age from 15 to 50, were treated at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler and released Friday afternoon. WFD Chief Doug Nicholson said the men were the first ones on the scene of the blaze.

At about 10:15 a.m., two occupants escaped the house and called Henderson County 9-1-1. Westside responded with two firefighters entering the structure while the third remained outside helping with the hoses.

After a short time, the combination of flames and the mid-day temperatures began to affect the firefighters. The firefighters were alert and conversing before they were taken to the hospital. Nicholson said they appeared to be all right but were transported as a precaution.

As for the fire itself, with the problems encountered by the Westside VFD at the scene,  the Brownsboro VFD was placed in command of the scene. The combined forces controlled the blaze within a few minutes.

“They got it put out pretty fast,” Brownsboro Assistant Chief Rusty Quattlebaum said. “It took a long time to dig through some debris and open the walls and the ceiling to make sure the fire wasn’t getting in there where it could rekindle.”

The fire, which is under investigation, began in the kitchen. The house sustained extensive interior damage.

In addition to Westside and Brownsboro, units from Chandler and Coffee City fire departments assisted at the scene.