By Brian O’Shea, Plateau Daily News
Eight area fire departments responded to a house fire on Saturday afternoon on the 200 block of Sagee Woods Drive that took days to fully extinguish.
Firefighters responded from departments throughout the area including Highlands Fire & Rescue, Cashiers/Glenville, Sky Valley-Scaly Mountain, Cullasaja Gorge, Rabun County Station 8, Macon County Squad 4, Lake Toxaway, and Rosman.
Pictured below are firefighters in action battling a house fire in Sagee Woods on Feb. 4.
HFR had the lead on the call and Assistant Chief Robbie Forrester said there were no injuries and the residents were able to exit the home safely, but there were some challenges putting out the blaze in an estimated 7,000 square foot structure.
“It’s a big house with a lot of rooms, so the fire was kind of chopped up all over,” he said. “Then you have fire in the crawlspace and the attic, so fire above and below you. When that collapses, everything in the middle gets pancaked. So, you can’t really get in there and dig.”
CGFD Chief Randy Dillard said it took some time to locate all the hotspots throughout the home.
“The size and all the wood make for a very hot fast-moving fire,” said Dillard. “All of our crews stayed there a long time but could not find all the fire in the walls and it got dangerous real fast.”
Dillard added that it was a huge benefit having the support of other departments.
“Getting a lot of help on a fire this size is very important,” he said. “It takes a lot of people to run that many trucks and pull hose.”
Sagee Woods Drive in not an easy place to park a fire engine, and even tougher to park 10 of them because the road is very narrow and it’s a tight squeeze.
Hoses were running from an assortment of trucks along the road to feed water to firefighters battling the blaze on the property.
The fire was fully extinguished by Monday afternoon and Forrester said the cause is unknown and is under investigation by the Jackson County Fire Marshal.
HFR Chief Ryan Gearhart said assistance from other departments was crucial.
“We appreciate all our mutual aid, to everyone that responded a huge thank you,” he said.
Gearhart also thanked a good Samaritan who paid for dinner on Saturday night.
“We ordered 30 burgers from Mountain Fresh and when I got there to pick them up, someone had already paid for them,” he said. “We don’t know who that was, but it was really kind.”