Thursday Feb. 2nd, 9:15, Fran called me from the living room. She noticed a glint of red where our fireplace surround joins the outside wall of the house. Inspecting the chimney, I noticed smoke coming from the chimney’s side, where no smoke should be. I removed several planks from the concrete block wood covered chimney box, and saw flames shooting up the wall of the house. I secured our three fire extinguishers and put out the fire. Important Safety Note: You should have fire extinguishers in your home whether you have woodburning stoves or not.
Afraid the fire might reignite, to be on the safe side I called 911 for the Payneville Fire Department. I told the dispatcher it was not an emergency, but the fire could restart and I wanted experts to check. Within minutes, which felt like only seconds, a big red firetruck and two firemen arrived. Mr. Tayler McMahan and Chris Wilson. They inspected the area and uncovered additional concerns and addressed them with me. The fire was out with minimal damage.
Tayler told me he met my wife once before, when he arrived late one evening in mid-December, and EMS transported her to the hospital. I was interested and asked what they did for a living. Tayler is a full-time fireman for the Okolona Fire Department and serves as a volunteer for Payneville. In other words, he saves lives for a living and in his off-time he saves lives just to benefit his community. I then asked Chris the same question, and found he’s Pastor of Payneville Baptist Church, serving off time, as a volunteer fireman. He saves souls for a living and saves lives in his community, two times, while alive and then later. I feel safe knowing people like our firemen and women, keep our community safe.
To become a Volunteer Fireman like Chris, Tayler, and all the firemen, call the appropriate fire department telephone number in the BBTEL phonebook. You will be given exciting training in Fire Control, Hazardous Materials, Traffic incidence and Vehicle extraction, first aid, as well as the correct use of firehoses, ladders, ventilation, Divers Training and how to share the road on an emergency run. Volunteers are sorely needed. Please join and keep your friends and neighbors safe.