Multiple departments battle fire at FM 455 and 51


Firefighters from departments across Wise, Denton and Montague counties battled a large grass fire near the intersection of Farm Roads 51 and 455 Thursday afternoon in Slidell.
The blaze, which burned nearly 400 acres, was sparked from a mower blade striking a rock, according to Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard.
“That’s just how dry it was,” Beard said.
Summer-like temperatures in the low 90s, humidity levels in the teens and southern gusts up to 23 mph fueled the fire that was reported shortly before noon.
“It was a recipe for disaster,” Beard said.
Greenwood-Slidell Fire Chief Adam North said the blaze originated off of FM 51 and spread. Both FM 455 and 51 were closed as firefighters worked the fire.
Fire lines were set by members of the U.S. Forest Service along the two roads to try to contain it south of 455 and east of 51. It briefly jumped 455 and burned an additional 400 yards before being extinguished.
Slidell schools were evacuated as a precaution.
“We had just started our last lunch and made the decision to get kids off campus,” said Slidell ISD Superintendent Greg Enis. “We loaded five school buses and headed toward Sanger.”
The elementary and middle school students were taken to a park, and the high school students to eat in Sanger. After getting word from North that the fire was contained, students were brought back to campus shortly after 3 p.m. Bus routes in the district ran as normal.
“They still had 455 and 51 blocked off and we had to make some adjustments and use some county roads to get everyone home,” Enis said.
Two tank trucks from Quasar Energy Services out of Gainesville supplied water at the scene to fire tankers.
“Our owner drove by and said ‘It looks like they needed help,’” said Ryan Sicking. “We brought them a little water.”
Among the fire departments at the scene were Greenwood-Slidell, Decatur, Alvord, East Wise, Forestburg, Krum, Sanger, Lake Cities, Coppell and U.S. Forest Service. Wise County medics and the Department of Public Safety also assisted. Troopers led traffic down FM 51.


No structures or vehicles were damaged in the fire.
“[Firefighters] did a great job using natural barriers to contain it,” Beard said.
He added that it will be monitored throughout the evening.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Breaking News, Update0 Comments

Fire destroys trailer in New Fairview


Fire destroyed a trailer home at 102 Lange Way in New Fairview Friday night.
Firefighters from East Wise, Decatur, Rhome, Newark and Haslet battled the blaze that was reported at 10 p.m. as a fire investigation.
By the time the first units arrived, the home was fully involved.
“The whole back side was on fire,” said Jim Blackney, East Wise Assistant Fire Chief. “We went defensive right off. There was no way to send anyone in.”
The structure was a total loss as fire tore through it.
The cause of the fire was unknown Friday night. Blackney said investigators from the Wise County Fire Marshal’s office would be on scene Saturday morning after firefighters finished an extensive overhaul.
Blackney said the single occupant was out of the home by the time firefighters arrived. Medics were called to the scene to check the man for smoke inhalation. He refused to go to the hospital.
The Red Cross were asked to make the scene to help the resident.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Breaking News, Update0 Comments

Blaze rips through mobile home


Firefighters were called to 313 County Road 4869 near Briar just before midnight Saturday as a blaze devoured a mobile home.

Boyd Firefighter Mason Del Castillo, who is also a shift supervisor, said the house was fully involved when the first crew arrived.

Initial reports on the police scanner indicated there might have been a small explosion, but Del Castillo said that wasn’t true.

“There was some popping when we got here … it could have been leftover fireworks or maybe ammunition,” he said. “But there was no actual explosion.”

Jeff Doughty with the Wise County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.  In addition to Boyd, several other departments were also on scene, as well as Wise County EMS and a sheriff’s deputy.

The homeowner was not at the property when the fire started. More information will be posted as it’s available.

 

 

 

 

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Breaking News, Update0 Comments

Fire leads to apartment evacuations

Fire leads to apartment evacuations


On Scene

ON SCENE – Bridgeport firefighters work to extinguish a small fire that resulted in the evacuation of an apartment building Thursday. Messenger photo by David Talley

Tenants at the Henderson Terrace Apartments in Bridgeport were evacuated Thursday evening due to a small fire in an exterior wall of Building 2.

A nearby homeowner said he witnessed electrical sparks shoot about 4 feet from the center of the building near the stairwell before the fire started.

Bridgeport Fire Chief Terry Long said he suspected the fire started due to an electrical issue and spread throughout aged wood. There was minor damage to two units.

“As old as these buildings are, we got lucky,” Long said.

Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to spot the heat inside a wall and used drills and other tools to reach and extinguish the blaze.

The apartments are on Henderson Street. Bridgeport Police Department assisted with the evacuations. The Wise County Fire Marshal’s office also responded to the scene.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Fire destroys house

Fire destroys house


Total Loss

TOTAL LOSS – Charred rubble is all that remains after fire tore through a lakeside home Friday night. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Two structures near Lake Bridgeport were destroyed by fire Friday night.

Five fire departments responded to a report of a house fire in the 300 block of Private Road 1520 near Lake Bridgeport around 8:45 p.m. Friday.

The first units on the scene reported a single-story home fully engulfed in flames.

Fire departments from Bridgeport, Lake Bridgeport, Chico, Sand Flat and Runaway Bay responded.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said the fire destroyed both an unoccupied home and a storage building. The fire was fanned by a 30-mile-per-hour wind, which also caused a 3-acre grass fire.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, Beard said.

The home’s owner, Cecil Sanderlin of Hurst, was at the property at the time but was not injured, Beard said.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Mobile home, camper burn


Home Burns

HOME BURNS – A mobile home between Chico and Sunset burned down Friday afternoon. Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Washburn said the fire started in a trash burn pit that was left unattended. Messenger photo by Racey Burden

A mobile home between Sunset and Chico burned to the ground Friday afternoon.

Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Washburn said a passerby who lived near the home on County Road 1886 saw the fire and stopped. At the time, it was confined to a pit with trash in it.

By the time fire departments arrived on scene, the mobile home, a camper and a few surrounding outbuildings were on fire, along with some cars in the yard.

Washburn said the mobile home is occupied, but the homeowner was not there at the time of the fire. He said the blaze appears to have spread from the pit fire.

No one was hurt, but neighbors did rescue two ducks from the mobile home.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in News0 Comments

Rhome house destroyed by fire


Destroyed

DESTROYED – Fire consumed a home in the Diamond Ridge neighborhood northeast of Rhome Thursday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Four fire departments battled a blaze at a home in the 300 block of Private Road 4732 in the Diamond Ridge neighborhood near Rhome Thursday afternoon.

Rhome, East Wise, Newark and Boyd Fire Departments responded to find a mobile home fully engulfed in flames.

The home appeared to be a total loss.

There were no reports of injuries. Red Cross was called to assist the home’s occupants.

The fire was reported around 12:30 p.m., and firefighters remained on the scene until nearly 4 p.m.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in News0 Comments

House damaged by fire


House Fire

HOUSE FIRE – Firefighters from Decatur, Alvord and Paradise responded and quickly extinguished a house fire in north Decatur Tuesday. Messenger photo by Brian Knox

Three fire departments responded to a house fire in Decatur Tuesday.

The fire was reported around noon at 1221 N. Business U.S. 81/287. The Decatur Fire Department arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the home’s attached garage.

Alvord and Paradise Volunteer Fire Departments were also called to provide mutual aid.

No one was injured in the blaze.

According to Wise County Appraisal District records, the single-story brick home is owned by Gordon Lovell.

The extent of the damage and the cause of the fire were not available at press time Tuesday.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in News0 Comments

Wise under burn ban

Wise under burn ban


Out of Control

OUT OF CONTROL – Grass fires have recently ravaged Wise County, prompting a ban on outdoor burning. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Wise County is now under a 90-day burn ban.

Commissioners approved the measure Tuesday at the recommendation of Fire Marshal Chuck Beard.

“Since Dec. 10, county fire departments have run 134 grass fires, and 80 percent were started by outdoor burning,” Beard said. “That’s a pretty big number in my business.

“After speaking with the (U.S.) Forest Service and the (National) Weather Service, there’s not anything forecasted to help us out,” he said. “This dry fuel load we have is really large.”

Beard explained that although recent rainfall has helped some, it also complicates things because fire trucks then get stuck trying to fight grass fires.

“As soon as the rain goes away, the vegetation dries out, it’s muddy and the trucks can’t get out there to put the fires out.”

The ban, effective immediately, prohibits outdoor burning. A violation of the ban is a Class C misdemeanor and punishable of a fine up to $500.

“We urge all residents of Wise County to help us during this time,” Beard said.

The county was previously under a red-flag day burn ban, which meant burning was prohibited on days with red flag warnings. Commissioners rescinded that ban Tuesday to put the full burn ban in place.

Beard said if conditions improve, the 90-day ban can also be rescinded.

“We will be out trying to educate everybody and letting them know there’s a burn ban,” he said. “My philosophy is let’s educate folks and let them know there’s a burn ban. We’re not here to write tickets; we’re here for the safety of the citizens.”

If you have questions during the burn ban, call the Wise County Fire Marshal’s Office at 940-627-5870 or email firemarshal@co.wise.tx.us. See the accompanying sidebars for guidelines for welding and outdoor cooking during this time.

GUIDELINES FOR OUTDOOR COOKING

  • Gas grills are the safest outdoor cooking option. Keep the flames covered while using the grill.
  • If you want to use a charcoal or wood-burning grill, it must be placed on a concrete, gravel or dirt surface at least 5 feet from any combustible materials. Keep the cover on the grill during use.
  • Smokers can be used if they are placed on a concrete, gravel or dirt surface at least 5 feet from combustible materials. Keep the flames covered during use.
  • Be sure to have a water source, i.e. a bucket of water or a garden hose, nearby in case of emergencies.

OUTDOOR WELDING GUIDELINES

  • All areas where welding, cutting or grinding operations are being performed should be free of vegetation.
  • Surfaces around welding areas should be wet down.
  • Wind speeds must be no more than 15 miles per hour while welding, cutting or grinding outside of barriers or enclosures.
  • A dedicated fire watch person should attend each welder, cutter, grinder and any activity that causes a spark.
  • A minimum of one water pressure fire extinguisher per fire watch person is required.
  • Each site will have cell phone on hand for emergency response.
  • All welding, cutting and grinding operations should be performed in a total welding enclosure or “welding box” that is sufficiently high to control sparks and includes a fire retardant cover over the top. Wind speeds must not exceed 30 miles per hour while utilizing an enclosure.
  • Where welding (above ground and sub-surface) is required in an area where there is a potential for a hazardous atmosphere, barriers will be substituted for total enclosures to prevent sparks from coming in contact with any combustible material.
  • The barriers will be installed to allow ventilation of the work area with ingress and egress to the work area for personnel safety.
  • Sub-surface or “bell hole” welding and grinding operations within approved excavations are allowed if all other mitigation efforts are included.
  • If an emergency exists where welding has to be performed, the fire marshal may issue a temporary exception to the order.
Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Wise at elevated fire danger

Wise at elevated fire danger


Strike Team

STRIKE TEAM – Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard (second from left) meets with a group of firefighters from several departments assembled at the fire marshal’s office Tuesday. Several emergency vehicles staged there to better respond to wildfires. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Local emergency crews have been battling an increased number of fires in recent weeks, and Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said Tuesday Wise County is currently at an elevated risk for wildfires.

“Ninety percent of the fires in the last week-and-a-half to two weeks have been caused by outdoor burning,” he said.

Due to drought-like conditions and high winds, the fire marshal’s office is asking residents to hold off on outdoor burning the next few days.

“We’re just asking people to refrain from burning outside until conditions get better for us,” Beard said. “Right now, if it were to rain, the day after the wind will come back, and things will dry out again quick.

A task force of firefighters and emergency vehicles from Newark, Paradise and Alvord staged at the fire marshal’s office in Decatur Tuesday and Wednesday to better respond to active fires. Area firefighters have previously staged there during periods of high wildfire risk, including during the 2011 Texas wildfires. The crew had responded to three calls by press time Tuesday.

On Monday, a grass fire burned more than 170 acres in northwest Wise County, destroying multiple pastures and crossing several property lines.

Beard said welding sparks started the fire about 11 a.m. near County Road 1782. Low humidity and high winds enabled the fire to spread quickly. No one was injured, and no structures were destroyed in the blaze.

Crews from Chico, Crafton, Alvord, Bridgeport, Sunset and Bowie volunteer fire departments were called to the scene.

Monday’s fire occurred just north of the 920-acre grass fire that started on County Road 1787 and spread south across Farm Road 2265 in December. That blaze burned three structures and 800 round bales of hay.

Thirteen local departments from three counties responded to the fire. No one was injured.

Beard said the cause is still under investigation.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Fire destroys mobile home

Fire destroys mobile home


Raging Fire

RAGING FIRE – Firefighters battle a blaze Friday night as it devours a home between Boyd and Decatur. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Fire destroyed the home of a family of five Friday night between Boyd and Decatur.

The fast-moving blaze tore through the four-bedroom mobile home at 442 County Road 4374 shortly before 11 p.m.

Boyd firefighters arrived first on the scene and immediately called for assistance from neighboring departments. Decatur, Rhome and Paradise firefighters assisted.

“We got the report of a fire on the front porch. By the time we got here it was fully involved,” said Boyd Assistant Fire Chief Jason Adams.

Along with battling the structure fire, firefighters had to extinguish small grass fires moving through the dry vegetation.

“There were a few little grass fires. It tried to cross the street, but we got it out,” Adams said.

Firefighters had to truck in water to the location. Adams said trucks had to make multiple trips into Decatur or Boyd to get enough water to fight the blaze.

Homeowner Clint Bitner said he was asleep when his wife, Jamie, alerted him to the fire.

“She heard a crackling,” he said. “It was fully involved. It was already too late.”

Bitner said his wife and three children – ages 12, 10 and 9 – were able to get out of the house safely but were unable save any of their possessions.

A GoFundMe page has been established under Clint Bitner Family. As of Tuesday afternoon, $2,065 had been raised.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Fire marshal reports 920 acres burned


On the Front Lines

ON THE FRONT LINES – Firefighters drive along the fire line working to put out a fast-moving grass fire near Crafton last week. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Wise County Fire Marshal’s office said in a press release Tuesday that 920 acres were burned in a grass fire that started near Crafton Dec. 29.

The fire started at 515 County Road 1787 at 11:20 a.m. but quickly grew, consuming 50 to 100 acres almost immediately, according to the press release.

“The fire was 70 percent contained as of 10:30 p.m. on the 29th, and fire operations were suspended for safety reasons,” the press release says. “The Crafton VFD continued to patrol the fire lines throughout the night.”

Starting at 8 a.m. Dec. 30, various agencies helped with fire containment, and “all operations were completed and the fire was called 100 percent contained at 5:30 p.m. [Dec. 30] with all agencies being released.”

According to the press release, three structures burned, including a small barn; an 18-wheeler trailer used for storage; and a cabin.

Seventeen structures were saved due to firefighting efforts, and 39 structures were threatened by the blaze.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in News0 Comments

Grass fire threatens west Wise

Grass fire threatens west Wise


Ground Covered

GROUND COVERED – The Texas A&M Forest Service estimates Thursday’s grass fire, which started near County Road 1787 north of Farm Road 2265, destroyed more than 800 acres of land. No injuries have been reported. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A large, fast-moving grass fire destroyed more than 800 acres of land and threatened homes and barns in northwest Wise County Thursday afternoon.

Lake Bridgeport firefighter Glen Canova said the fire started north of Farm Road 2265 near County Road 1787 and moved south, propelled by winds gusting near 25 mph. Canova said firefighters tried in vain to stop the fire from jumping the road.

“We did everything we could to stop it from coming across that road,” he said. “It was moving fast.”

Police scanner reports indicate the fire threatened multiple homes along County Road 1770, damaging at least one structure on 2265. Wise County sheriff’s deputies visited multiple residences in the area to check on homeowners and forced entry into a barn to release cattle inside.

Deputy Steven Yancey said crews had to double back on the fire several times due to changing wind directions. Firefighters spread out in an attempt to head off flames around the fire’s perimeter but were forced to deal with heavy brush and multiple fences.

Numerous fire departments were called in to help, including Sunset, Sand Flat, Chico, Alvord, Bridgeport, Lake Bridgeport, Decatur, Crafton, and Jack County.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, sheriff’s deputies, and crews from the U.S. Forest Service and Wise County EMS also assisted. Several tank trucks were on scene to refill water in brush trucks.

Firefighters were able to get the blaze mostly contained by late evening and trucks were gradually released from the scene, with the last truck leaving around 10:30 p.m. Departments were called to the scene of the fire twice overnight, but located no active fires. Several crews returned just before 8 a.m. Friday to put out remaining hot spots.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Wise County fire marshal’s office.

Scorched

SCORCHED – Firefighters dealt with numerous issues Thursday, including burning fields blocked by fences. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Fires destroy home in city neighborhood

Fires destroy home in city neighborhood


Fully Involved

FULLY INVOLVED – The second fire at this home in the 1700 block of Cates Street in Bridgeport early Thursday morning caused extensive damage to the single story wooden structure. Photo courtesy Steve Stanford

A home in the 1700 block of Cates Street in Bridgeport was destroyed by fire Thursday morning in the second of two fires at the location in a span of eight hours.

The Bridgeport Fire Department responded to a report of flames showing from a bedroom window near the back of the house around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The fire was extinguished and contained to the bedroom, Bridgeport Fire Chief Terry Long said.

He said the fire possibly started from a space heater. No one was injured.

Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford said one of the home’s occupants was arrested at the fire scene on a drug charge.

He said an officer responded and talked to the home’s two occupants, a male and a female. The male, identified as Tony Harveson, 53, was adamant about going back in the house.

“He was being uncooperative,” Stanford said. “He went back into the house and the officer followed. The officer saw him trying to conceal a large amount of marijuana in his pocket.”

Harveson was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana less than 2 ounces, according to Wise County Jail records.

The female occupant of the home was released to a neighbor, Stanford said.

Around 2:15 Thursday morning, the Bridgeport Fire Department was called back to the home and this time found the house fully engulfed in flames. Decatur and Paradise fire departments assisted on the second fire.

The second fire did extensive damage to the home, which is nearly 90 years old according to Wise County Appraisal District records.

The Bridgeport Fire Department was called to the scene a third time around 9:30 a.m. when fire investigators who had returned to the location noticed a smoking couch. That fire was also doused.

The Wise County Fire Marshal’s office is assisting Bridgeport in the investigation into the cause of the fire.

Extinguished

EXTINGUISHED – Firefighters examine the part of the house where the first fire apparently originated as they extinguish the second fire at a home in Bridgeport early Thursday morning. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Motel fire investigation concludes

Motel fire investigation concludes


Destruction

DESTRUCTION – Flames destroyed two of the three buildings that make up the Harbor Inn motel in Runaway Bay in October. The state fire marshal’s investigation into the cause of the fire recently concluded. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The state-led investigation into the October fire that destroyed the Harbor Inn motel in Runaway Bay has concluded, city Public Safety Director Doug Angel confirmed Tuesday.

But the results of the investigation have not yet been released.

The Harbor Inn caught fire about 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18. Two, two-story buildings on the north end of the property were destroyed, but a third on the south end and the neighboring condominiums did not burn.

Motel owner Elvin Jackson was on scene doing yard work an hour before the fire started. Jackson had left, but returned when notified of the blaze.

According to the Runaway Bay Police Department, no one lives in the complex or was injured in the fire.

Runaway Bay, Lake Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Chico, Paradise, Boonsville and Salt Creek fire departments battled the blaze. Wise County EMS was also called to the scene.

Before the fire, the property was listed for sale with Keller Williams Realty for $1.1 million.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

3 departments fight house fire


Fire Damage

FIRE DAMAGE – Roof damage is evident from Monday night’s fire at this home in the 300 block of Long Branch Drive near Decatur. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A home in the Heritage Creek Estates neighborhood near Decatur was heavily damaged by fire late Monday night.

East Wise, Decatur and Rhome Fire Departments along with Wise County EMS responded to a report of a house fire in the 300 block of Lone Branch Drive around 11:20 p.m. Monday. East Wise firefighters arrived within minutes to find the single-story brick structure with heavy smoke and flames showing from the roof.

The owners of the home, Lee and Rebecca Womack, were able to escape the house. Lee was later taken to the hospital by private vehicle for smoke inhalation, Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said.

It took firefighters about an hour to extinguish the fire.

Beard responded to the scene early Tuesday morning and returned to the scene later in the morning to investigate.

“It started in the rear of the fireplace, on top of the fire box itself. It appears accidental,” he said, “but we’re still investigating.”

Beard said the fire burned the roof and attic, causing heavy smoke and water damage, particularly in the living room area.

“It’s probably going to be a total loss,” he said.

The home, which had been purchased by the Womacks only a couple of months ago, was insured.

Red Cross was called to assist the couple with basic needs.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in News0 Comments

Heat lamp, space heaters cause 2 fires

Heat lamp, space heaters cause 2 fires


Fire Extinguished

FIRE EXTINGUISHED – A firefighter peers inside a home south of Boonsville Friday morning after extinguishing a blaze started by the use of space heaters. Fire Marshal Chuck Beard complimented the firefighters for stopping the flames from spreading to the neighboring house. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The use of space heaters and a heat lamp led to two house fires Friday.

Just before 8 a.m., a mobile home at 1852 County Road 3855, south of Boonsville, caught fire when its circuits were overloaded.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said the family had four space heaters in the living room, all of which were plugged into the same outlet either directly or via extension cords.

“No one was home at the time of the fire,” he said. “The heaters were left on.”

Douglas and Shannon Mills lived in the home with Douglas’ mother, Lucille Chaffin, Chaffin’s adult granddaughter and two children.

Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Washburn said the home was insured. The American Red Cross is assisting the family.

Boonsville, Salt Creek and Bridgeport volunteer fire departments were called to the scene. Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 also responded.

Beard said the home was a total loss with the heaviest damage to the center of the house.

“The fireman actually had a good stop because they were able to save another mobile home on the property that sits less than 15 feet away,” Beard said.

Home Damaged

HOME DAMAGED – A firefighter walks across the front porch of a New Fairview home that caught fire Friday afternoon. The blaze was started by a heat lamp in a doghouse. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

SECOND HOME BURNS

Between 1 and 1:30 p.m., East Wise, Rhome, Newark and Justin volunteer fire departments were called to 451 Martindale Lane in New Fairview.

Beard said two people were at the house cleaning out closets when they smelled smoke.

“The woman went to investigate, opened the front door and the whole porch was on fire,” he said. “The flames went up the outside wall and into the roof.

“There was heavy water and smoke damage.”

Beard said the fire was started by a heat lamp.

“The night before they moved two doghouses to the front porch because the dogs wouldn’t get in them [in the yard],” he explained. “They put fresh hay and heat lamps inside.”

The doghouse burned, which ignited the wooden porch and house.

The dogs escaped uninjured, as did the residents.

The home was owned by Eric and Misty Padgett, according to Washburn. They lived there with their five young children.

Red Cross is assisting the family. The home was insured.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

More details emerge in house fire


The fire that destroyed an Alvord family’s home Monday afternoon started on the west side of the house, according to Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Washburn.

He said Wednesday the blaze was caused by either electrical or gas issues in the structure.

The home was on West State Street, about two blocks southwest of Alvord Elementary School and next door to a Shell gas station.

Chad and Tiffany Davis lived there with their three boys, but they weren’t home when the fire started.

Washburn said the property was insured, and Red Cross is assisting the family.

The investigation is ongoing.

—–

A spaghetti dinner benefiting the Davis family is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Alvord High School in conjunction with the school’s annual Hoopla event.

Call Candace Mercer at 940-577-2045 to volunteer or provide food for the meal.

An online GoFundMe account has also been set up for the family. To donate, visit gofundme.com/family-lost-all-in-house-fire.

See the Dec. 7 edition of the Messenger for a list of clothing sizes for each family member. Those donations, along with money and toys, can be dropped off at Hendershot Equipment in Decatur (1841 U.S. 87/287) and Stephenville (935 E. South Loop).

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in News0 Comments

Blaze devours 2-story home

Blaze devours 2-story home


Inferno

INFERNO – A firefighter works to stop a blaze that claimed an Alvord family’s home Monday afternoon. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A two-story home in the 700 block of West State Street in Alvord was destroyed by fire just after 3 p.m. Monday.

Wise County Sheriff’s Deputy Taylor Whittle said he responded after noticing smoke coming from the home, which is located about two blocks southwest of Alvord Elementary School and next door to the Shell/Food Mart gas station.

Alvord, Chico and Decatur fire departments, and Wise County EMS were called to the scene.

Firefighters used hoses on every side of the house and a truck-mounted water cannon to knock down the flames, which engulfed the home and threatened a neighboring residence.

Homeowners Chad and Tiffany Davis, who have three boys, weren’t there when the fire started. Bystanders pulled the family’s two dogs to safety. The home is insured, and the American Red Cross is assisting the family.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Wise County Fire Marshal’s office.

Exhausting Work

EXHAUSTING WORK – A firefighter catches his breath while battling a house fire in Alvord Monday afternoon. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

LENDING A HAND

Multiple efforts are underway to aid the Davis family. Alvord ISD is collecting monetary donations at each campus office and a benefit account has been set up at Legend Bank in Alvord. Make checks payable to Chad or Tiffany Davis. Legend Bank customers can also have funds directly transferred to the Davis account. Each campus will also have individual fundraisers with students and staff.

A spaghetti dinner benefiting the family is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Alvord High School in conjunction with the school’s annual Hoopla event. Junior varsity and varsity girls and boys basketball games will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the high school that evening. Call Candace Mercer at 940-577-2045 to volunteer or provide food for the meal.

An online GoFundMe account has also been set up for the family. To donate, visit gofundme.com/family-lost-all-in-house-fire.

Hendershot Equipment in Decatur (1841 U.S. 87/287) and Stephenville (935 E. South Loop) are dropoff locations for clothes, money and toys.

The family needs:

  • Shoes in toddler’s size 8, boy’s size 7.5, men’s size 9 and 11 and ladies’ size 10.
  • Shirts in youth medium or large, 10-12; adult medium; ladies size large/XL; and men’s size XXL.
  • Pants in size 10-12/boy’s large; 32×30, 34×30; adult small; ladies size 16-18; men’s 42×30.
  • Size 5 diapers and boys’ clothes in 2T-3T.
Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Home damaged by fire


Fighting Fire

FIGHTING FIRE – Firefighters prepare to enter a home near Cottondale Saturday morning. Messenger photo by Brian Knox

A house near Cottondale was heavily damaged by fire Saturday morning.

The fire in the 300 block of County Road 3573 was reported by a neighbor who saw smoke coming out of the single-wide mobile home around 8:30 a.m.

Fire departments from Cottondale, Boyd, Salt Creek and Paradise responded along with Wise County EMS.

No one was home at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported.

Fire Investigator Jeff Doughty said fire gutted one end of the home while the rest of the house sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

No cause of the fire has been released.

Print This Page Print This Page

Posted in News0 Comments