CONYERS — A fire on Black Shoals Road last week destroyed a home and blocked part of the road as six engines, a squad (equipment) truck, and a ladder truck all responded. While all the vehicles were not needed, the firefighters in them were due to weather conditions.
The owner of the two-story frame home said he left for work in Tucker at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. An hour later, his security company alerted him that the home was on fire. By the time the first engine arrived on scene, the entire front of the house was engulfed in flames.
Rockdale County Fire Chief Dan Morgan said the department had a greater than normal response to the blaze due to the hot weather.
“We normally respond with three or four engines, a ladder and a squad, and that’s to have the tools and the manpower on the scene,” he said. “Normally, we only use one or two of those engines for water pumping and hose. You need about 17 to 22 firefighters on scene to do all the jobs. We had an extra engine or two because it was so hot and we were swapping out crews.
“We called Walton and Newton counties and they backfilled a couple of our stations to give us mutual aid while we had the majority of our units on one scene for an extended period of time.
“What you saw was the amount we would have at a commercial fire, but due to the weather, we erred on the side of caution and got a few extra crews to actually rehab. I took them Gatorade to get them re-hydrated.”
Morgan said the question of why so many vehicles respond to a fire is one he often gets.
“I was at a homeowners association meeting and said that’s why we send so many firetrucks — to get the manpower,” Morgan said. “If we had a fire bus and could get all 22 people on one bus, you’d only see one bus, but then we wouldn’t have all the tools, and the rest of the county would not be covered. That’s why we have multiple fire stations and multiple engines responding to a scene.”