FIRE

The Covington News - - Lo­cal sun­day, march 4, 2012 -

mid­dle of the Bud­get Self Stor­age build­ing, pre­vent­ing the fire from spread­ing to the other half of units, where, among other things, heavy am­mu­ni­tion was be­ing stored. They also man­aged to save a blue Ford Mus­tang.

Be­cause of phys­i­cally de­mand­ing work, fire­fight­ers were ro­tat­ing through more fre­quently but rest­ing less. Nor­mally, when an air bot­tle runs out, af­ter 15 to 20 min­utes or so, fire­fight­ers go back to get an­other bot­tle and “re­hab” for an equal amount of time. Thurs­day night, the rest pe­ri­ods were down to around five min­utes.

“For ev­ery air pack breath in, you lose a liter of body fluid. De­hy­dra­tion is one of the most press­ing con­cerns,” said Rollins. “You try to sip as much wa­ter with­out throw­ing up. With the de­hy­dra­tion and hard work you tend to get nau­seous, weak, dizzy and have headaches, but you have re­place elec­trolytes and go back in.”

Emer­gency med­i­cal work­ers were on hand pro­vid­ing cold tow­els, while New­ton County fire­fight- ers were called in to as­sist.

“It was an in­tense fire, not like your av­er­age struc­ture fire where you go in and knock it down and that’s it and ev­ery­body goes home,” Bruno said. “Af­ter cut­ting the doors, even late (Thurs­day) night we were still spray­ing foam be­fore go­ing home, be­cause we still had flare ups in there.”

In his 11-year ca­reer, Rollins has seen more in­tense fires, but not many and not re­cently.

“Those guys (Bruno and re­lief driver Matt Isom) worked hard; they wouldn’t give up. They were al­ready pack­ing up (putting back on gear) be­fore they even told us to and were ready to go again,” Rollins said. “That goes to train­ing. Those guys don’t even have to be told what to do. They have the knowl­edge in their mind from train­ing; it’s au­to­matic.”

Cov­ing­ton As­sis­tant Fire Mar­shal Tony Smith said fire of­fi­cials are fol­low­ing up on a cou­ple of leads and haven’t yet de­ter­mined a cause.

To­tal dam­ages added up to around $50,000 and ev­ery­thing in the stor­age cen­ter suf­fered some smoke dam­age, Smith said, but fire­fight­ers’ ef­forts likely al­lowed sev­eral items to be sal­vaged.

Gabriel Khouli/ The Cov­ing­ton News

Thurs­day’s night stor­age fire looked in­no­cent, but was un­usu­ally in­tense for lo­cal fire­fight­ers and took six hours to con­tain.

Sub­mit­ted photo

SPC. E-4 Jon Berry of Mon­ti­cello, Ga. grad­u­ated from ba­sic train­ing in Fort Jack­son, S.C. on Jan. 12. He is now go­ing to school at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. and will be there four months as he goes through AIT train­ing. He is the son of Glenda (Berry) Lewis and the late Ralph Glenn Berry of Mon­ti­cello.

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