Midday blaze claims camper, house

Published 6:28 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A fire in extreme southwest Lincoln County claimed a home and acamper Monday afternoon, fire department officials said.

The structure at 3499 Jackson-Liberty Drive in Smithdale belongedto Robert Brady, according to fire department reports.

The blaze began about 11:45 a.m. Monday, in a camper that wasparked close to the house. Firefighters said it appeared thatradiant heat or a stray ember from the camper might have caught thehouse on fire.

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Summit Volunteer Fire Department units arrived on scene first, saidDeputy Chief Stan Johnston.

“When we got here the camper was gone, it was ginning,” he said.”It was blazing good.”

Then the flames spread to the home, he said.

“So we pulled two lines off the truck and went to work,” hesaid.

Summit was soon joined by the Hog Chain, Zetus, Bogue Chitto andMars Hill fire departments. As units knocked the fire down, therewas some discussion as to whether the home had been empty when thefire broke out.

“Then the homeowners got here and said nobody was in it,” saidBogue Chitto Chief Sedgie Mercier.

No one was injured in the fire, though a pet dog was killed bysmoke inhalation.

The camper was a total loss, as was the house, though parts of thestructure were still standing after the attack.

The home was in Bogue Chitto’s local response area. Officials saidthe remote location of the home made a quick response tough forlocal fire departments, but also that fires that fall during themiddle of the day are hard for volunteer departments to staff sinceit’s during the work day.

That, said Mercier, is why it’s a good thing that Lincoln Countyand neighboring counties are able to work together.

“We’re just glad Summit got here and did such a good job ofknocking it down for us,” Mercier said.