UPDATED: Six firefighters injured while battling house fire on Revis Street

Published 10:47 am Monday, September 3, 2018

Six firefighters with the LaGrange Fire Department had to be treated in area hospitals after responding to an overnight fire on Revis Street, and four remained hospitalized in Atlanta on Monday.

Five firefighters were treated for burns and a sixth for smoke inhalation. Four firefighters have non-life-threatening burns and were sent to Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Two firefighters were treated at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center, one for burns and one for smoke inhalation, according to LFD Deputy Chief Phillip Rice.

“I’ve been checking in on them all morning,” said LFD Deputy Chief John Brant. “They are all non-life-threatening injuries but a couple got third-degree burns, and the other two have got mainly second-degree burns. This is definitely the worst injuries I’ve seen in my 23-year career to the firefighters here in LaGrange.”

Brant said the firefighters hospitalized with burns are Josh Williams, Jonathan Williamson, Pete Trujillo and Jordan Avera. Jim Ormsby and Sean Guerrero were treated for minor injuries. 

“It’s difficult,” Rice said. “It really makes you realize the dangers of the job and thankful for all the times you prepare for it, get ready for it and train for emergencies like this where we have our own people we have to rescue, but we never really expect or know when it’s going to happen.”

According to a press release, the LFD responded to the scene at 2:50 a.m. to the 300 block of Revis Street.

“These guys relied on their training and were able to get themselves out of a bad situation with a lot less injuries than it could have been,” Brant said. “They kept their heads about themselves and were able to find their way out and to get each other out. It is a reminder of how dangerous this job is. It’s a serious business.”

Brant said the “fire just flashed on them,” creating a dangerous situation for the firefighters.

Two adults and four children were at the house when the fire started, according to resident Kenneth Lakes.

“It felt like a spiritual energy telling me to wake up and once I woke up, the smoke was coming through,” Lakes said. “I went back toward the kitchen because I didn’t see fire there and I felt the heat. Once I looked in, I felt the heat on my skin and I knew it was severe. I instantly went and got the kids and pulled them out of the house as the other adult called 911.”

The four exterior walls are still standing but the contents of the inside of the house were severely damaged in the fire. Brant said it is likely a total loss.

Lakes believes the fire started with a candle. Firefighters were still evaluating the scene Monday morning, so he hadn’t been inside his home yet, but he knew the damage was bad.

“Looking at it from the outside and seeing the fire in person, you can tell it’s bad,” Lakes said. “You can look through the front window and see the outside and the backyard, so I knew it was severe.”

Neighbor Mason Dixon said it was a huge blaze.

“It was a wild scene,” Dixon said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The origin and cause of the fire is still under investigation. Lakes said he was extremely appreciative of the firefighters and was hoping they’d have a speedy recovery.

“Not everybody has the heart or the courage to risk their life for other people,” Lakes said. “I pray they be safe and sound, and God watches over them.”