Chatham County Fire Sends Southside Firefighters to Hospital

Firefighters say they may never know what caused a fire in southern Chatham County that sent three Southside firefighters to the hospital and completely destroyed an early-1900s home.

The fire broke out at a home at 485C Beaulieu Avenue Saturday afternoon. Forty-seven firefighters spent hours battling the fire. Strong winds and a lack of water made their job more difficult. Since the area has no fire hydrants, firefighters had to drain the pool to fill their hoses, and truck in thousands of gallons of water.

No one was inside the home at the time; however, three firefighters were taken to the hospital. Assistant Fire Chief Hugh Futrell said one firefighter was overcome by the heat. Another firefighter was hit by a beam. A third had minor burns to his chest when an ember fell into his bunker gear. All were treated and released from the hospital.

The house was an older home with a tin roof and aluminum siding over wood construction. Firefighters say the construction trapped the heat, smoke and flames inside the house, making the fire extremely difficult to fight. They believe the fire started Saturday afternoon on the second floor; however, since no one was inside the home at the time, they're not sure if they'll ever know what caused it.