JONES COUNTY, Miss. - This is a press release from the Jones County Volunteer Fire Department.
A house in on Jerry Webb Road in the Shady Grove community caught fire Wednesday afternoon, leaving extensive damage throughout the home. Sharon and Shady Grove Volunteer Fire Departments were the first to arrive on scene and quickly began fighting the fire; at a later point during the blaze, Sandersville and Calhoun Volunteer Fire Departments were requested to assist. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke and fire showing throughout the home. It was reported that the occupants had vacated the home safely, but that a family dog was trapped inside. However, family members and neighbors were able to call the dog out of the house in time.
With flames shooting out of the windows on the front and back sides of the home, as well as thick black smoke pouring from every crack and crevice, firefighters began their initial interior attack on the fire. Entering through the front door, firefighters found that the entire inside of the first room they had made entry into was engulfed in flames, resulting in unstable structural conditions. Two firefighters, one with Sharon and the other with Sandersville, made entry together through the front door. Soon after making entry, the burned and unstable floor gave way, resulting in the Sharon firefighter falling through. The Sandersville firefighter, Chasity Weathersby, reacted quickly by assisting her partner in exiting the home. Chasity stated that she did her best to pull her partner out but it was a team effort and the injured Sharon firefighter did what he could to help Chasity get him out safely. This was Chasity's first time performing an interior attack on a structure fire, and her quick thinking and valiant effort was nothing short of heroic. The injured firefighter sustained what was believed to be only minor injuries and was transported by EMServ ambulance to South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel to be assessed and treated.
Firefighters were able to knock down the flames on the inside of the home fairly quickly, but the intense heat resulted in the fire moving into the attic space. Firefighters had to use a cutting tool to cut into the ceiling of the home to gain access to the attic area and fully extinguish the fire.
Although the home is still standing, the fire swept quickly throughout the structure, burning most of the inside and leaving remnants of memories charred.
Firefighters were on scene fighting the fire and performing overhaul for nearly two hours. The cause of the fire is under investigation by Jones County Fire Investigator Scott Gable.
Emergency personnel on scene included Sharon, Shady Grove, Sandersville and Calhoun Volunteer Fire Departments, Jones County Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna, Jones County Sheriff's Department, Jones County Fire Public Information Officer Caleb Worrell and EMServ Ambulance Service.
Fire apparatus included Sharon Engine, Rescue and Tanker 1 and 2; Shady Grove Engine 1 and 2; Sandersville Engine, Tanker and Rescue; and Calhoun Engine and Rescue.