Williamson Fire Chief Jerry Mounts said his department received a call just after 4 a.m., about a residential structure fire at 974 Sycamore Street. Lt. Mike Casey and firefighter Stephan Casey were the initial responders.
The house is owned by Rueben and Jeanie Fouch, Mounts said, but was being used for storage.
“All their possessions were in the house,” Mounts said. “Everything was totally destroyed.”
The family includes two young daughters and a newborn infant.
“The family was staying with Rueben’s mother while they were working on the house,” Mounts said. “There were some structural problems, such as a roof leak, and they were working on that.”
Because of the problems with the house, the Fouches were not able to obtain property insurance.
“The structure went up in flames very quickly.” Mounts said. “This event became a defensive operation from the outset since the structure was already on the ground when we arrived. The initial response crew led by Lieutenant Mike Casey and firefighter Stephen Casey did an excellent job securing a water source from a nearby fire hydrant and deploying attack lines. “.
As the fire developed, a power supply line was burned, cutting the electricity to the Fire Department’s repeater. Because of the power outage, the initial response officer was unable to call off-duty officers to help fight the blaze.
“Since the electrical disruption knocked out our means of communications, none of our off-duty personnel knew there was a fire,” Mounts said. “Mike and Stephan’s backs were up against the wall.”
“The officers at the scene asked a resident to call me,” Mounts said. “As I responded to the call, my son, who is a volunteer firefighter, went to the fire station and sounded the siren. That alerted off-duty officers, who responded.”
Mounts said the WFD had 10 people at the scene, with four trucks and an incident command vehicle.
The house next to the residence received some damage, Mounts said, but the department was able to protect that house and other surrounding buildings from sustaining any major damage.
The Chief said he is very impressed with the performance of the department.
“The value of having experienced emergency response personnel available 24/7/365 can never be underestimated,” he said.