Juvenile faces arson charge; two dogs survive house fire

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 21, 2004

A juvenile was charged with arson Thursday in connection with aWednesday afternoon fire at a house on Nola Road, said Capt. DustinBairfield, fire investigator with the Lincoln County Sheriff’sDepartment

At 1:58 p.m. Wednesday, firefighters responded to a report of ahouse fire at 2263 Nola Road, at the intersection of Beeson Road.The house is owned by Fred King, of Brookhaven, but no one wasliving there at the time, according to Bairfield.

“(The fire) was determined to be started by human hands in thefirst room, which would be the living room,” Bairfield saidfollowing an investigation.

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Bairfield arrested a juvenile suspect in Lincoln County earlyThursday afternoon. The youth is charged with first degree arsonand is being held in the Pike County Youth Detention Center.

No other information on the suspect was released. No otherarrests are expected, Bairfield said.

The structure sustained 50 percent damage from the flames andsmoke, Bairfield said.

Heuck’s Retreat firefighter Carl Diamond was first on sceneWednesday.

“(The house) was about 25 percent involved in flames when we gotthere,” said Diamond, whose department received assistance from theEast Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department.

A car outside the house was also involved in flames.

One dog perished in the fire.

Two other dogs survived the blaze. One was rescued from thebuilding, and the other dog was later found safely hiding under thestructure.

After the initial attack on the fire, Diamond said firefightersconducting a search of the structure discovered two dogs. Diamondsaid one dog in the back bedroom died in the fire, but another hadsurvived by climbing into the kitchen cabinets.

“I heard something making a racket,” said Diamond, who said thedog had been overcome by smoke. “I reached in and pulled himout.”

Diamond emerged from the house with the dog under his arm. Theanimal was short of breath and could not stand on its own.

Diamond and Heuck’s Retreat firefighter-first responder JohnRiggs put cool water on the animal and administered oxygen to it.It did not suffer any burn injuries.

Veterinarian Johnna McRee of Brookhaven Animal Hospital wascalled to come pick up the dog.

Later, McRee said the animal was walking and breathing well. Itis expected to make a full recovery.

Bairfield complimented the work of the fire crews.

“They did an excellent job putting out the fire quickly,”Bairfield said.

Bairfield said enough of the house was preserved to conduct aninvestigation. The investigation began Wednesday and continuedThursday with the assistance of State Fire Marshal Jim Woodard.