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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2007
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Firefighters battle 2 blazes in Limestone; 3 hurt

By Ronnie Thomas
rthomas@decaturdaily.com · 340-2438

PINEY CHAPEL — At one point Saturday, four Limestone County volunteer fire departments battled two fires simultaneously two miles apart. Three Elkmont firefighters were injured.

The first fire involved 15 to 20 acres of brush and timber on Huber Road, the second a mobile home on Carey Road, according to Piney Chapel Fire Chief Lance Pitts.

He said Athens-Limestone Hospital treated the firefighters from the woodland fire. He said all three suffered smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, and one also was dehydrated.

“My understanding is that they were treated and released,” he said.

Pitts said Oak Grove-Thach and West Limestone also responded, along with the state forestry service from Limestone County. He said between 30 and 35 firefighters were on the scene.

Pitts said the first call came at 12:44 p.m. from a resident at 20944 Huber Road.

“His neighbor had piled up brush and set it afire to clear his property,” Pitts said. “But it crossed the property line and got into a stand of pine trees beside the other guy’s house, endangering his two-story brick home. We had a fight on our hands, but we stopped the fire within about 150 feet of the house.”

Pitts said the fire burned about 10 acres of brush on property where it originated and 10 to 15 acres of pine trees next door.

“The man who owned the timber said he had cut some of it out and had the intention of cutting and selling the remainder,” Pitts said. “The fire pretty much burned it up.”

Pitts said two forestry service employees brought a fire-service bulldozer and plowed a firebreak.

Mobile home fire

Firefighters responded to the nearby single-wide mobile home fire at 19909 Carey Road at 2:38 p.m., he said.

“We already had three pumpers and three brush attack units on the scene, and at that time we paged more personnel from Oak Grove-Thach,” he said. “We confined the mobile home fire to one room.”

Pitts said someone had stretched a blanket over a window for a sunshade and left a burning candle underneath it, catching it on fire.

“We were there for less than an hour before returning to the other fire, where we finished up at 6:45 p.m.,” he said.

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