agencies respond to house fire
Nearly every fire department in
the county found themselves called to a house fire at 985 N. Hassmer
Hill Road near Versailles on Saturday, June 27.
Homeowners and occupants of the two-story brick structure, Eric
and Tara Goddard, were not at home at the time the blaze began.
Firemen were called to the scene about 2:14 p.m. when a neighbor
spotted the thick smoke and called 911.
According to Chuck Gunter, spokesperson for the Versailles Volunteer
Fire Department, the firemen could see the smoke when they arrived
at the firehouse. The house and separate garage were fully engulfed
when the firemen arrived.
The intense heat from the fire coupled with over 90 degree temperatures
complete with extreme humidity, gave firefighters a challenge
as they battled the blaze. When in full gear, a fireman carries
an additional 60-70 pounds.
Gunter noted that another factor that hampered their efforts was
they had to haul in water. Multiple agencies responded to help
their fellow firefighters and hauled water to the scene. Five
tankers in all brought nearly 100,000 gallons to the scene on
a dead end road just past the Cedar Creek Community Church between
Osgood and Versailles.
Everyone worked together, Gunter told the Osgood
Journal. He said most of the departments were short-handed
that day, but when everyone came together it made for a force
of about 70. He noted that assisting Versailles at the scene were:
Osgood, Milan, Napoleon, Delaware, Holton, and Batesville departments.
Friendships department went on standby and Dillsboro was
called to man the station at Versailles in case there was another
fire in the area.
One fireman was taken to Margaret Mary Community Hospital due
to heat exhaustion where he was treated and released. There were
no other injuries.
Also at the scene were Rescue 69 to assist firefighters, and the
Ripley County Sheriffs Office to control traffic. Rescue
30 went on standby to cover Rescue 69s territory.
It was a true community effort as everyone pulled together on
one of the hottest days of the summer. According to Red Cross
Director Sandy Vanderbur, they assisted by taking donated food
from McDonald's to the firemen and are also contacting the family
to see if they can be of further assistance to them.
The Goddards lost everything in the fire that left nothing but
rubble and a chimney standing. Also, Jason Goddard, brother of
the homeowner, lived in an apartment above the garage that burned.
The heavy road traffic from fire vehicles along with the heat
caused damage to Hassmer Hill Road. According to Ripley County
Highway Superintendent Junior Heaton, the county hauled stone
to repair the roadway. It couldnt be helped,
he noted. Its just one of those things.
WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT PHOTO
Firefighters were on the scene three hours
after the initial call still putting out hot spots at this
house fire on Hassmer Hill Road near Versailles. There were
multiple agencies called to the fire that destroyed the
home of Eric and Tara Goddard. The intense heat from the
fire, along with the extremely high temperatures on Saturday,
June 27 made it hard for firefighters to battle the blaze.
They also had to truck in water. The cause of the fire had
not been determined at press time and was under investigation
according to the Versailles Volunteer Fire Department who
took the initial call.