Power line lands on fire truck at Sylvester blaze - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Power line lands on fire truck at Sylvester blaze

An overnight house fire in Sylvester proved to be very difficult to battle.

The flames which devoured a North Albany Street home gave off such intense heat, it came close to blowing a propane tank and that's not all.

The flames sent a live power line crashing onto a fire truck. But amazingly the firefighters and the homeowner are okay and counting their blessings.

It's a hard sight for Johnny Mack Smith, Jr. to lay eyes on. His home is all gone. But he's still grateful.

"I'm glad that dude came and woke me up because I was in there asleep. He just came in and said 'Dude, your house is on fire! Your house is on fire!' So we just ran out of the house," said Smith.

Firefighters had to battle an intense blaze when they arrived around 3:30 Friday morning. But that wasn't the only obstacle they would encounter.

"Right away we noticed a 200 gallon propane tank right adjacent to the structure and another structure about 10 feet away from the house that was on fire," said Sylvester Fire Capt. Drew Cox.

The flames were already putting intense heat on the recently filled propane tank.

The neighbors were evacuated as two Sylvester Fire Crews attacked the fire that engulfed the 50-year-old home.

But the narrow street provided little room for firefighters to work and created a near deadly danger from above.

"Within the first 10 minutes of us being on scene, the power line servicing the house fell over the (fire) truck, then energized the truck," said Cox.

The live wire disabled the truck. Luckily no firefighters were on or near it. But the fire still had to be fought.

"Simultaneously we had a few things going on. Worth County Fire came and we set up our backup truck to set up a new attack line and started a whole new operation," Cox said.

In the end, the fire was doused. The neighbors homes where spared. The propane tank didn't explode. And despite being hit with a live wire, the truck is ok.

Despite two very bad things. At least some luck was on the side of the firefighters and the homeowner.

"That's a blessing from God. A blessing," said Smith.

Fire officials say their drivers are trained to avoid overhead lines but admit it was impossible in this scenario.

Due to the intensity of the fire and the location of the home, they had no other choice, Cox said.

Firefighters say if a live wire ever falls across your vehicle, stay inside until help can arrive and cut the power.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but is not suspicious.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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