Early afternoon of February 2nd, I heard the tones drop for a residential structure fire at 8687 Indian Bend Road, so I quickly looked it up on google earth maps and saw it was a little ways up the road from Shawnee Ford Road, then headed that way after securing Onyx in the truck. It was Winter Fire School weekend and Sullivan FD usually send about ten firefighters to it as do many other surrounding departments, so it was likely that the fire crews might be stretched a little thin today. I was out in front of the fire crews with the help of the Elmont Bridge and when I reached the Boone Creek Valley, I started seeing a heavy column of black thick smoke ahead. Driving down Shawnee Ford Road from Hwy AE, the smoke kept increasing and when I approached the residence on Indian Bend Road, I could see there was a field on fire, flames approaching a long barn, likely stuffed full of hay bales, and several neighbors were out in the field fighting back the flames, many using their jackets and knapsacks to beat down the flames. I parked across the road out of the way and shot the first photo from the road….
…this one was different looking…the entire roof of the house appeared completely intact and it looked like there was something on fire behind the residence, but the residence looked fine from the road…there were a couple of neighbors in front of the house and the front door was standing wide open…I walked on around to the rear of the house and discovered a pick up truck on fire behind the house about forty feet behind it at the fence line…fire had spread from the truck to the back of the house, entering the house thru the basement right behind and below the garage, and shotgun shells could be heard going off inside the basement…
Sullivan firefighters arrived shortly after in new pumper 854 with Kory Snelson as the acting Captain and Command…two young firefighters Trevor Woods and Beau Kick, initially packed up, took the hoseline, and approached the basement from the west side…ammunition kept popping off and they prudently stayed where they were and used the wall as a barrier…one never knows whether those shells are inside a barrel or tube or tub…the first two options would be hazardous to the health of firefighters as they would provide direction like a gun barrel to the shells, yet in a tub or box of shells, they simply explode without direction…still hazardous tho…these two firefighters showed great restraint and caution for themselves and others. Instead they directed their hose stream through a small window into the basement interior and cooled things down fast…hence the white smoke below….
I took this time to walk back around the front of the house to get to the other side and to my surprise, discovered a mobile home trailer fully involved and on the ground behind the residence on the far side….
…so in addition to the house on fire and the field on fire next to the house, approaching a large barn full of hay bales, there was also a Dodge pickup on fire and a mobile home had completely burned to the ground as well….adding up to two structure fires, one vehicle fire, and one brush fire…great on the job training for the young firefighters on the trucks today….and then I turned around to check out the field fire, the neighbors were still fighting it, doing what they could, but as dry as the grass was, they had their work cut out for them…talk about dedication….
…the owner`s son arrived about that time and went to get his tractor, and drove it down to the field to assist in putting out the fire until brush trucks could arrive….
…and the neighbors rallied behind him with more knapsacks and sheets of tin….
…and shortly after, Sullivan`s brush truck arrived….
…I walked over to the fenceline and saw the fire had spread down into the woods, so I put my camera under my coat and went down to the brush truck to get a rake, then hoofed it back to the woods fire and began raking…Bourbon arrived with a brush truck then and assisted me in extinguishing the woods fire. Once that part was under control, I walked back up and found Ray Enloe and Corey Rice`s son spraying down what was left of the mobile home….
…and then the Rosenweig boy came over and helped with the tractor, lifting the roof up and off the trailer so firefighters could more easily extinguish the fire burning underneath it….
Sullivan was assisted by Bourbon and St Clair Fire Departments, St Clair brought their Super Tanker which carries ten thousand gallons of water. Despite being a bit shorthanded, firefighters did a great job with everything they had to contend with that day !!