At 1:47 a.m. on Thursday, July 23, county firefighters from Nunez and Swainsboro were dispatched to 8796 Highway 297 for a fire in the piping of a sawdust and wood chip collection system.
Before the fire was contained and extinguished a total of six engines—two from Swainsboro and one each from Dellwood, Norristown, Nunez, and Twin City—along with two quick response units, a mobile command post, a special operations rehab, and an EMS ambulance spent almost five hours at the scene.
Most of the fire was confined to the piping and silo portion of the system.
Firefighters and company personnel were kept busy with cooling the system and extinguishment. More than 4,000 gallons of water was flowed during the suppression stage. To maintain a constant water supply, engines were staged to deliver water and sent to be reloaded.
An accountability of personnel was in place due to the size of the event, heat, heat index, and the darkness of night. There were no injuries reported during the operation, but most were saturated in sweat due to wearing their required turnout/bunker gear.
Seventeen firefighters, both full-time and volunteers, responded to the call. Most of the volunteers were released by 6:30 a.m. in order to return and restock their equipment, go home, shower, and report to their full-time jobs.