A home fire in Northeast Jones County Saturday afternoon, May 9, left a family of 10 homeless.
Shortly after 6 p.m., fire units from Sandersville, Powers, Rustin, Glade, and M&M Volunteer Fire Departments responded to 399 Hinton Road in the Mt. Olive community of Northeast Jones County.
Upon arrival, firefighters found flames shooting 15 to 20 feet above the roof at the back of the home, and dark heavy black smoke rolling out of the eaves of the tin roof. Firefighters conducted an aggressive interior and exterior attack.
According to Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna, once the fire reached the attic of the home, the tin roof kept the heat and flames inside the home. Firefighters were faced with a tremendous amount of heat inside the home, limiting the amount of time each firefighter could stay inside. Teams of four firefighters were rotated in and out of the home, while firefighters on the exterior supported the interior attack.
The home was owned by Lee Coye Parker, and was being rented by Chris and Tamaria Newell with their eight children – ages two years old to 15 years old.
According to Mrs. Newel, after returning home from town, she entered the back of the house and found the area around the refrigerator on fire. She ran outside to get the water hose, and by the time she returned, fire had totally engulfed the area. All of the children were out of the home, and Mr. Newell was away from the home at the time. The family lost everything in the fire.
The home was deemed a total loss, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation by Jones County Fire Investigator Sgt. Scott Gable.
Also responding to the fire scene were EMServ Ambulance Service for standby, Jones County Sheriff’s Department, and Dixie Electric Power Association. The American Red Cross is assessing the family’s needs.
Photos and story by Linda Cranford, Jones County Fire Service PIO