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Area man escapes fire uninjured

February 17, 2011

An area man escaped uninjured as flames engulfed his home, a fire official said Thursday.
A neighbor alerted emergency personnel to a fire at 1435 Blackjack Road around 8:50 p.m. Wednesday, calling it in as a chimney blaze, said Greg Ball, chief of the East Oktibbeha County Volunteer Fire Department.
When units arrived on scene, flames were coming out of the roof around the flue pipe, Ball said. Firefighters made an initial interior attack, but conditions worsened quickly. Then, they moved out to make a defensive approach, Ball said.
A fire alarm awakened the residence’s lone, elderly occupant, and he made it out safely, Ball said.
No one was injured, though personnel with OCH Regional Medical Center stood by with an ambulance just in case.
The wood-frame house “was pretty well totaled out,” Ball said.
Ball says firefighters controlled the blaze within about an hour, then remained on scene about another two hours putting out hotspots.
Fire officials gave the man a Red Cross referral card as well as informed him about OSERVS, the chief said. OSERVS is a locally-based emergency response organization.
The Bell Schoolhouse and District 5 volunteer fire departments helped East Oktibbeha in responding to the fire.
The Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department also responded and helped with traffic control.
Fire officials remind the public to maintain a working fire alarm or smoke detector and check chimneys at least once a year to make sure they are in working order.

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