Talladega Fire Department

TALLADEGA -- The Talladega Fire Department answered 24 calls during the first full week of 2019, including five structure fires and a traffic accident that resulted in a fatality.

The fires were at 16 Westgate Homes on Jan. 4, 303 Park Circle on Saturday, and 504 Jackson St. and 706 Stephen J. White Memorial Blvd. on Tuesday. Firefighters also answered a rekindle call at Jackson Street on Tuesday, according to Chief Danny Warwick.

Other than the apartment at Westgate, the other structures will all likely be total losses. No one was injured in any of the fires, however. The causes of all four remained under investigation Thursday afternoon.

The traffic fatality stemmed from a one-vehicle accident Saturday at Alabama 21 and the 275 Bypass. Matthew Swinford, 39, of Munford, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Firefighters also responded to a one-vehicle accident in the TOP Trails Park on Saturday that resulted in what Warwick characterized as “a major trauma” for the driver of the vehicle involved. Firefighters assisted NorthStar paramedics in getting the driver into an ambulance, which took him to Brookwood Baptist Health Center/Citizens Baptist Medical Center, where he was then airlifted to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. Information on the driver’s condition was unavailable Thursday.

The week’s other calls included a request for assistance from paramedics Jan. 3 on Pinehurst Drive, unintentional false alarms on Alicia Avenue and Hawthorne Street on Jan. 4 and a call to Cedar Street that was canceled en route the same day.

The first call for Saturday was to a one-vehicle accident at Allen Street and the bypass that did not result in any injuries or road blockage. The same day, firefighters also answered a false alarm at Shores Hall on the Talladega College campus (steam from showers likely tripped an alarm, Warwick said) and responded to an electrical issue causing a heater to smoke at the old Crown Textiles facility on Alabama 21 South.

The only call logged for Sunday was to a residence on McKenzie Road, where an alarm was accidentally set off while residents were changing the batteries, Warwick said.

There were two calls Monday, including a call to Alabama 77 canceled en route and a medical assist at Walmart, where a woman had a seizure.

A call to a residence on Ola Avenue was canceled en route Tuesday, as was a call to Mount Olive Circle. A call that same afternoon to the Spring Street Recreation Center was apparently caused by a test of the alarm system in the elevator there, and a call to Crawford Hall on the Talladega College campus turned out to be another false alarm.

On Wednesday, firefighters answered a call to a small pile of leaves burning in the gutter on West Parkway, a two-vehicle accident with one injury on West Battle Street and a smoke alarm at Senior Grove I on the college campus stemming from a student smoking in his room.

No reports for Thursday had been completed as of late Thursday afternoon.

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