Haralson County Fire Chief Bryan Walker once again reminding residents to test their fire alarms and ensure those alarms have fresh batteries.
The reminder comes after fire crews in Haralson County were called to four fires within a 30 hour period this week. Walker says at least two of the fires were likely caused by heating devices. One other, he suspects at this time, could have been caused by a lit cigarette tossed in a patch of kudzu. No injuries were reported in any of the fires, however a Buchanan family and Tallapoosa family are displaced after their homes received significant damage.
Walker says the first fire early Tuesday was inside an empty home that was in the process of being remodeled. Heating devices were being used inside, and Walker believes they are likely the cause.
The second fire occurred about 4:00pm Tuesday in Tallapoosa. The fire began in a patch of kudzu, but spread to an historic church nearby. Walker says the abandoned Whites Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Brock Street was damaged by the fire. Walker says a lit cigarette is a possible cause for this fire, but he does not think the fire was intentionally set. Rather, at this time, he suspects a smoker carelessly tossed a partially lit cigarette on a cut-through in the wooded area nearby. He says the humidity was low on Tuesday, which could have contributed.
Fire crews responded to a third fire in two days early Wednesday. Walker says the mobile home on 63rd street in Buchanan which caught fire is a total loss. Fortunately, the couple inside escaped injury. It could have been much worse, as no one inside was awoke by the fire itself. The adult male was awakened by his clock alarm set so he could get ready for work. Walker says it appears this fire was caused by a heating device, as well. The Red Cross is helping the couple on Wednesday.
Less than five hours after responding to the fire in Buchanan, crews were once again called out. This time to Highway 100 in Tallapoosa. Responders were able to save the majority of the home on Robertson Avenue, but occupants will have to find other living arrangements until repairs are complete. Walker says the home did have a smoke detector, which alerted the six occupants of the fire. He says it appears to have started in the utility room, however the exact cause has not yet been determined.
With overnight temperatures expected to be in the thirties and twenties for the next two weeks, residents will be using their heaters plenty. Walker encourages them to ensure the heaters are in good working condition, as well as test smoke alarms and alarm batteries.