After receiving a page from the Kentucky State Police 911 Center around noon on Sunday, the Sunshine Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) and Harlan City Fire Department responded to a structure fire on Johnson Street in Teetersville.
“Once I arrived on the scene, smoke was showing from the back corner bedroom window,” said SVFD Assistant Fire Chief James Billings. “After crews got suited up and got inside there was no fire visible at that time, but a lot of smoke was showing. After about five minutes, crews reported flames were coming up through the floor. I had crews open up a wall on the exterior of the home and windows were opened to ventilate and keep smoke down to a minimum. Some of the walls and floors had to be opened up to make sure the fire was out.”
Owners of the home, Judy and David Dickensheets, said they had been working on a wall outlet.
“The smoke was coming up through the walls and vents,” said Judy. “I have lived here 41 years. My first husband, the late Larry Branson, and I raised our three children here. It’s so scary and so hard to see smoke billowing out of your home. There’s a lot of smoke damage and damage to the floors and walls where the firefighters had to get underneath the home to put the fire out. I did get some photos and a few other small things out.”
Because of a large amount of smoke, Billings said big fans had to be used to put air into the structure to help the crews work. He said there was smoke damage along with damage to the walls and floors getting to the fire. He reported that no one was injured.
Also responding to the fire was Harlan Police Officer Mitch Alford, who was one of the first to arrive on the scene and help the family in removing some small items from the home. Bradley Stephens, an EMT for Harlan EMS, was another first to arrive on the scene assisting the family in removing some small items. Harlan EMS also provided assistance for the firefighters due to it being a hot humid day. The Harlan County Sheriff’s Office responded for traffic control upon Billings’ request.
“The streets in this area are very narrow and I didn’t want anyone’s vehicles to get damaged from our trucks entering the area,” said Billings. “The cause of the fire has not been determined, but the origin of the fire was underneath the home.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org