Over the last three weeks, firefighters in Upson County have stayed busy, responding to five fires. Luckily, no one was injured in any of the fires..
The first blaze occurred on November 24. According to a report by Upson County Sheriff’s Deputy James Hollis, he was dispatched to 1593 Raines Street about 1:30 p.m. in reference to a structure fire. He arrived to find the house fully engulfed in flames. The resident of the home, Denise Middlebrooks, told he she and her three daughters, had gone to church that morning and came home after receiving a call that her house was on fire. Ms. Middlebrooks was renting the property, which was a total loss. Responding to the fire was Lincoln Park VFD, Thurston VFD, Northside VFD, Upson EMS, and Upson EMC.
The second incident happened three days later, on Nov. 27. Sheriff’s Sergeant Neill Sanders responded to 440 Thompson Road about 1:45 p.m. in reference to a possible structure fire. When he arrived, he found the property owner, Larry Watson, at a barn behind his residence. Watson said his niece, Christy Daniel, lives in an apartment above the barn. She told her uncle she heard a pop, then smelled smoke. Watson said he saw a “fairly large amount of light gray smoke” coming from near the door of the barn, but could not find any fire. He said he checked the circuit breaker panel and found one of the breakers tripped. He said the water heater was on the circuit. Sgt. Sanders found the water heater under the stairs and found black marks on the front of the water heater, indicating that the heating elements had burned, which had tripped the circuit breaker. Northside VFD responded to the call.
Three days later, on Nov. 30, Deputy Timothy Salter responded to a structure fire call at 145 Willow Road at about 7:30 p.m. When he arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from the roof of the residence and fire at the rear of the residence. Units from Northside VFD were already on the scene, and units from Rock Hill, Thurston and Yatesville VFDs arrived to assist. Salter met with the homeowners, Donald and Debra Womble. Mr. Womble said he had put another log on the fire burning in the fireplace and had left. Mrs. Womble said she was watching TV when she heard a pop come from the back porch. When she looked out, she saw the entire back porch on fire. She got their children up and out of the house. According to the report, the fire destroyed the roof over the porch, a section of the roof, and the living room area.
The fourth fire occurred a day later, on December 1. Deputy Justin Hammock was dispatched to 134 Pallet Mill Road in reference to a structure fire. Thurston VFD had already arrived on scene and extinguished the fire by the time he arrived. The right corner of the back porch was the only portion of the structure damaged. Hammock reported he observed what appeared to be burnt trash inside a wire cage near the back porch. The occupant, David Chapman, rents the house. He told Sanders he didn’t know how the fire got started and didn’t know about it until one of his neighbors began knocking on his door. Hammock spoke to one of his neighbors, who said he believes the trash Chapman was burning was left unattended and got out of hand.
Four days later, on Dec. 5, the Thomaston Fire Department responded to a fire in an apartment at Potemkin Village off of Knight Trail. According to Fire Chief Eddie Lifsey, a grease fire on the stove started the blaze. The residents of the apartment got out safely. Lifsey said there was more than $3,000 in damage done by fire, smoke and water. Neither of the adjoining apartments suffered any damage.