Valdosta Daily Times

March 29, 2013

Fire destroys home

Firefighters battle flames for more than two hours

Jason Schaefer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — A fire in Lowndes County burned through a barn and a house at 3566 Kay Circle, a rural property south of town on Thursday afternoon, causing severe damage to both structures as well as a white vehicle parked on the lawn.

Neighbors say homeowner Billy Bradley and his wife were away from home, and that the fire likely started as a result of flames spreading from a burning pile of wood on the lawn. According to the neighbors, the flames spread first to the home, and then from the home to the car and the barn.

Bradley returned home in time to move a yellow truck off of the lawn and away from the flames to prevent damage to the vehicle.

Neighbor Tammy Tyre saw the yard on fire, called 911 before 4 p.m. and remained on the scene, she said. Fire trucks began arriving shortly after, she said.

By 4:30 p.m., a dozen emergency vehicles had arrived on scene — Lowndes County EMS, an ambulance from South Georgia Medical Center, two Lowndes County Sheriffs Office vehicles, five Lowndes County fire engines, a brush fire support truck, the fire marshal and an air support vehicle carrying self-contained breathing apparatus.

Firefighters used chainsaws to gain entry into the barn and extinguish the flames inside, and then put out the flames in the house, inside the car and on the lawn.

Bradley is known in the downtown Valdosta area as a handyman and a skilled woodworker, and neighbors on scene said the barn housed his personal woodworking shop.

Lowndes County Fire Rescue had no official report prepared as of press time, but County Clerk Paige Dukes reported the event was called in at 3:45 p.m. by several people, and that the emergency vehicles cleared the scene at 6:19 p.m.