AXTON – A fire Wednesday destroyed a home at 224 Country Place Road and at least two vehicles there. Home owners/residents Marvin and Bonnie Martin were not at home, nor was their pet dog.
The fire was reported at 11:53 a.m., said Henry County Assistant Fire Marshal Kiah Cooper.
Deputy Mike Hooper of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office said he could see smoke from Irisburg Road, about two miles away, on his way to the fire. Upon arriving, Hooper, one of the first people to respond, saw a lot of smoke coming from the carport. Shortly after Hooper walked around the home to see if everyone had gotten out (no one was in the home), he saw flames in the carport.
Cooper said flames spread from the left side to the right side of the one-story brick house, which has a basement.
Nearly 50 firefighters and emergency medical and police personnel responded. Agencies included Dyers Store, Axton, Ridgway, Collinsville, Martinsville and Horsepasture fire departments; Henry County Public Safety; Henry County Sheriff’s Office; and Stone Ambulance.
The nearest fire hydrant is a mile and a half to two miles away from the home, so firefighters shuttled loads of water and dropped it in tanks at the fire scene, Cooper said.
One vehicle in the carport – either a truck or an SUV – and a car in the driveway in front of the carport were destroyed, according to Cooper. As of mid-afternoon, he did not know if any more vehicles were damaged, as the fire was not yet under control.
The cause of the fire had not been determined, Cooper said. He added it would probably be a day or so before an investigation can be done.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital to be checked out and treated. Cooper said the firefighter was not injured but possibly was affected by environmental heat.
The American Red Cross was on the scene to provide assistance for lodging or other needs of the Martins.
Bonnie Martin was holding a dog as she watched firefighters from a yard across the road.
In an update about 5:30 p.m. Cooper said in an email: “Fire crews are still on scene putting out hot spots. The incident commander just deemed the fire under control at 5:23pm. The dog is with the owners and is ok. It was not home at the time of the fire either. I have not determined a cause yet but it appears that it may have originated in or near the kitchen area of the home. I have not been able to confirm that 100% yet.”
Cooper added: “The structure is not safe for us to enter where I think it originated. The firefighter has been treated and not released yet. Water supply was an issue at the beginning of the incident until they had sufficient personnel and trucks to handle the large amount of water they needed to be brought in to make an impact in the fire.
Paul Collins reports for the Martinsville Bulletin and can be reached at email@example.com.