TALLADEGA -- The Talladega Fire Department responded to 23 calls during the past week, including a fire that destroyed a house on the 920 block of Scott Street on Thursday morning.
According to Chief Danny Warwick, firefighters were dispatched to the house around 5:30 Thursday morning; the house had already suffered extensive smoke and fire damage throughout and will likely be a total loss. No one was living in the house at the time of the fire, he added.
The cause and point of origin of the fire were still under investigation Thursday afternoon.
The first call of the week turned out to be a false alarm near Pearl and Howard streets Nov. 14, followed by a call to a smoke smell inside the Alabama Rehabilitation Center building on Alabama 77. No smoke was found inside the building, Warwick said.
The same day, firefighters were also sent to a two-vehicle traffic accident on Alabama 21 and the 275 Bypass that led to one person having to be cut out of a vehicle and subsequently taken to the emergency room at Citizens Baptist Medical Center by NorthStar Ambulance.
Later that evening, firefighters answered a mutual aid call from the Winterboro Volunteer Fire Department to assist with an accident involving a police officer on Alabama 21 and Grist Mill Road.
“We arrived on the scene to see a car fire fully involved, heard explosions and ammo going off in the car, (and) stretched a 100-foot bumper line for fire suppression,” Warwick said.
After the fire was put out, Warwick said, Talladega firefighters stayed on the scene while the volunteers from Winterboro refilled their trucks.
The last call of Nov. 14 was a NorthStar lift assist on Patricia Avenue.
The first of seven calls for Nov. 15 involved steam coming from a dryer vent on East Lancaster Street, followed by a traffic accident at Asbury and East Battle streets. Both vehicles had already left by the time the fire truck arrived.
The next call was to another two-vehicle accident, this one on the bypass, with entrapment. One person was extracted from their car and transported to Citizens by NorthStar.
While at the wreck on the bypass, firefighters were also dispatched to Shores Hall at Talladega College after a student allegedly smoking in the building tripped an alarm. While returning from the wreck, the remaining units found another two-vehicle accident, this one at Renfroe Road, with no injuries. A call to the bypass at Old Shocco Road around the same time was canceled en route. The last call of the day was to a wreck at Bradford and Spring streets but was also canceled en route.
There were two calls listed for Saturday, one an unfounded report of a gas leak at College Hill Apartments and the other a one-vehicle accident on Alabama 21 where the driver refused medical treatment and was subsequently arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol by Talladega police.
The first of two calls Sunday was an alarm set off by the sanding of newly hung sheetrock at Captain D’s, followed by a fire that burned about half an acre when a homeowner let a yard waste fire get away from him.
There were no calls Monday, and two Tuesday. The first was to a fire alarm at Zora Ellis Junior High School, which turned out to be unfounded, and the second was to a burning power pole on Lawler Circle near Orangevale Road. Waldo Volunteer Fire Department also responded.
Two of the calls reported Wednesday were to a Spire Gas Company Mercaptan fill station on Alabama 77 near Shocco Springs Road. Warwick said it was the Mercaptan (the chemical that gives natural gas its distinctive smell) that was leaking, not the natural gas. There was also a stove top fire on Scott Street on Wednesday.
In addition to the structure fire Thursday morning, firefighters also answered an alarm call at Season’s Way on Thursday afternoon.
Warwick said we are heading into the time of year when the number of structure fires start to increase.
“People start to try and use alternative heat sources,” he said. “You cannot heat your home with a stove, that is especially dangerous. You should also never plug a space heater into an extension cord. Try to keep everything at least 3 feet away from a heat source.”