Fire displaces two families


Paint Creek urges precaution as temperatures drop

By Jeff Gilliland - jgilliland@timesgazette.com



Smoke billows from a two-story apartment structure Thursday on East South Street in Hillsboro.

Smoke billows from a two-story apartment structure Thursday on East South Street in Hillsboro.


Jeff Gilliland | The Times-Gazette

Two families were displaced from their home after a fire caused significant damage to a two-story apartment Tuesday on East South Street in Hillsboro.

It was the second damaging fire the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District had to tame in two days.

Another fire on Wednesday damaged a home on Pigeon Roost Road.

Paint Creek received a call reporting the Thursday fire at 246 and 246 1/2 E. South St. at 11:41 a.m. Paint Creek Lt. Branden Jackman said that upon arrival firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming from the second floor of the structure.

“We were able to stop it pretty good, but both families were displaced and the Red Cross is assisting them,” Jackman said.

He said an investigator was on the scene Thursday afternoon trying to determine how the fire started, but at the time the origin was still undetermined.

A pet was lost in the fire, Jackman said, but he did not know what kind of animal it was.

Jackman called the damage to the home pretty significant. “I don’t know if they’ll be able to rebuild or not,” he said.

Mutual aid was provided by the fire departments in Leesburg, Lynchburg and New Vienna.

Paint Creek received a call reporting a separate fire at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday at 9477 Pigeon Roost Road.

Upon arrival firefighters found a light haze of smoke coming from the upstairs of a residence owned by Steve Fettro.

Jackman said the original call reporting the fire said it may have been a chimney fire that had escaped the chimney, and that’s what firefighters determined to be the cause.

According Jackman, Fettro said he burned “creosote logs” through the chimney the day before the fire in an effort to reduce residue. Jackman said that firefighters believe the intense heat from the logs could have caused the chimney liner to overheat.

There was some fire and smoke damage on the second floor, and water and smoke damage on the first floor, but Jackman said the residents were not displaced and were cleaning things up when firefighters left the scene.

Paint Creek was the only fire unit on the scene.

With outdoor temperatures starting to fall and people turning up the heat in their homes, Jackman said local residents should take safety precautions.

“Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home,” Jackman said. “We don’t want something tragic, especially with Christmas next week.”

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.

Smoke billows from a two-story apartment structure Thursday on East South Street in Hillsboro.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2020/12/web1_Fire-pic.jpgSmoke billows from a two-story apartment structure Thursday on East South Street in Hillsboro. Jeff Gilliland | The Times-Gazette
Paint Creek urges precaution as temperatures drop

By Jeff Gilliland

jgilliland@timesgazette.com