WILLIAMSON – Two homes were destroyed by a fire that started Sunday afternoon on Seventh Avenue in Williamson, but there were no injuries to any occupants. The 911 call came in 5:10 p.m.
Like many areas of the city, the steep hilltop location has many homes that are side by side. Once fire engulfed the one wood frame home at 104 West Fourth Avenue, it quickly spread to the other at 108 West Seventh Avenue. The homes were only about five feet apart.
When the first truck arrived on the scene, fire was already coming through the roof, according to Williamson Fire Chief Joey Carey.
“The one house is lower than the other and the when the flames came through the roof, it spread to the second house,” Carey said.
The extreme heat and humidity made battling the blaze tough for firefighters. Two firemen were treated for heat exhaustion. Another firefighter from Williamson suffered a minor knee injury. STAT Ambulance was at the scene of the fire providing service if needed.
Due to the close proximity of the houses, the Williamson Fire Department (WFD) called for mutual aid. Both Chattaroy and Belfry Volunteer Fire Departments brought trucks and firefighters to assist the WFD. Delbarton and Lenore supplied manpower, according to Carey. The chief said that due to the heat, the extra manpower was both needed and helpful.
Williamson had two engine (pumper) trucks at the fire, while Belfry brought another pumper and Chattaroy brought a pumper and tanker truck.
The firefighters fought the blaze for approximately four hours, according to Chief Carey.
The houses were rental units owned by Jack Booten of Williamson. One of the homes was recently vacated by longtime tenant Alma (Picklesimer) Lovern back in April. She has moved to Charleston with her son Matt Lovern. The home where the fire started was being rented by the Stubbs family, according to Carey.
Carey said he suspects the fire was electrical in origin and possibly started in the living room area of the house at 104 West Seventh Avenue. However, the blaze is still under investigation.
Another home, owned by Margaret Finley, was saved by the efforts of the firefighters.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)