Redwood home lost to overnight fire

Redwood home lost to overnight fire

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At 2:39 a.m. a call went out of a fire in a residence at 4141 Redwood Road, near Keen Cole Road.

Warren County firefighter Gerald Spires, who lives just a couple of minutes away, was the first firefighter to arrive. “The neighbors told me they didn’t know if the occupant was still in the home,” said Spires, “At that time the fire was contained to the bedroom on the right side of the structure, flames were showing but the left side was still untouched. I did a search of the structure including what I could safely see of the bedroom on fire.”

The view from the “D” side of the structure. Photo by David Day

“I was certain there was no one in the area I searched, but I couldn’t rule out there was no one in the bedroom,” said Spires, “I could see the whole room except for the other side of the bed.”

Chuck Tate was next to arrive on the fire scene and took control as the Incident Commander. Zach Hearn arrived with a truck and they began to charge up a line. Spires was in his turnout(firefighters garb) by this time and took control of the inch and a half water line. At the initial pressure of 150+ psi, the water line is difficult to manage but Spires, with assistance from IC Chuck Tate, began to attack the fire. “I started at the front door and had to keep leaning into it. That line was probably closer to 200 psi when we first charged it, it really put up a fight but I kept leaning into it,” explained Spires on the pressure of the waterline and the difficulty in controlling it.

Gerald Spires continues to work the end phase of the fire. Photo by David Day

Hearn suited up and was able to assist Spires which freed Tate to manage the pressures and call in backup. He also called in an ambulance since they were unable to confirm no one was still in the fire.

About a dozen firefighters total showed up to assist including Culkins Lamar Frederick, Jeffrey Riggs, Cedric Martin and FireBoss Jerry Briggs.

Warren County firefighters organize for the overhaul phase of the fire. Photo by David Day

The fire was contained to the half of the home where the fire started, but water and smoke damage all but destroyed the remainder of the home. “Spires did one heck of a job containing that fire until help arrived,” said FireBoss Briggs. “He’s only been here a year and a half or so and he handled this like he’d been doing it all his life.”

With a lot of smoke still coming off of the structure, firefighters were able to remove debris and determine no one was in the burned remains.

Firefighters continue the overhaul phase of the fire. Photo by David Day

For his part, Spires said, “Chuck Tate directed me and I followed my training. I can’t say enough good things about Chuck Tate.”

In response, Tate said of Spires, “He did that. I’ve got 40 years’ experience on him but he held that fire and contained it until backup arrived. He did a great job.”