At 7:08 p.m., on Jan. 5, 2021, Sparta Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire on Bockman Way.
According to Fire Chief Kirk Young, Engine 8 arrived on the scene at 7:12 p.m. and was quickly joined by 17 volunteer firefighters from the Sparta city departments. In addition, numerous county units sent aid in the form of additional manpower.
“At one time there was a thought that some displaced individuals may have been seeking shelter in the building, but, after a search, no persons were found to be inside the structure,” Young said.
While fighting the fire at the Bockman Way scene, a second call for a possible water heater fire, on Franklin Avenue, was dispatched, and Capt. Richard Taylor took Engine 9 and several firefighters from the Bockman Way scene to Franklin Avenue and was able to clear that scene quickly.
“I want to say thank you to the county departments for their assistance,” Young said. “We are all in this together.”
Young stated that Sparta Fire Department cleared the Bockman Way scene at 10:07 p.m., but it took an additional three hours to get all equipment and trucks back in order in case of another call overnight.
“We used every SCBA [Self Contained Breathing Apparatus] unit that we have,” Young said and added that, as of 10 a.m., Jan. 6, city personnel were still washing turnout gear used the night before.
Jesse Buttrum, of Sparta Fire Department, and Jeff Hutson, of Sparta Police Department, are conducting investigations into the cause of the fire, which is still underdetermined at this time.
Young warns residents who may be using space heaters during the cold nights to ensure they are not placed near bedding, furniture, or other combustible surfaces and those who are using wood to heat their homes to make sure that chimneys have been cleaned properly before starting fires.
“Please, please, check your smoke alarms,” he added, stating they are the first line of defense and can spare a lot of loss, both of property and life.