Rapid response: Columbus Fire & Rescue battles multiple blazes

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Columbus Fire and Rescue had their hands full putting out multiple fires. Before the crew could fully extinguish one fire, a second call came in for a house fire across town.

After spending a full day fighting fires at a controlled burn for training purposes, the Columbus Fire Department responded to its first house fire call around 6:30 Tuesday evening.

This call required four fire trucks to be on the scene.

“At that time, we got another call from 911 dispatch telling us that we had a house fire on the opposite side of town. We were at 16th Street South and we were told that the next house fire was on Shady Street on the North Side of town. This required us to split our forces,” said Fire Chief Duane Hughes.

Two fire trucks remained on 16th Street.

The other two departed to respond to a house fire on Shady Street.

A third truck from the reserve also responded to the Shady Street fire.

“We had two firefighters fully dressed out that took a handline in and they quickly discovered that the source of the fire was in the area of the kitchen,” said Hughes.

Before attacking the flames, they discovered the source of the fire.

“The fire was emanating from a push lawn mower that was in a utility space in the kitchen,” said Hughes.

With nearly $60,000 in stolen property value for just the month of January, Hughes said it’s actually common for people to keep outdoor machinery inside. But usually, other safety measures are followed beforehand.

This wasn’t the case.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t drained of gasoline and once it met an ignition source, it was set ablaze,” said Hughes.

Quick thinking and solid training saved the day.

“They were able to push the lawn mower out and extinguish it there,” said Hughes.

Followed by a delicate restoration process.

“Once we attack a fire in the home, we overhaul it to make sure that all sources or areas of the fire are out. But we also try to maintain and salvage as much of the personal effects and property as we can. We don’t want to be more damaging than the fire so if we can do something as simple as remove the source of the fire from the home and extinguish it outside, we’ll do that,” said Hughes.

According to Hughes, the first house fire on 16th Street was a total loss.

The fire on Shady Street was contained.

No one was hurt at either residence.

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