Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

September 10, 2013

Saving the farm: Fighting fire ‘just another day’ for veteran

RAY CITY —  Dorsey Farms has been a family-owned farm for three generations. They produce “top-quality Georgia pecans, American Welfare Approved and American Grass-fed Approved pasture-raised beef and pork, and a few vegetables for our neighbors!”

Tim Martin, 54, has been a friend of 12-year-old Conner West’s family for a long time. He is an influential figure in Conner’s life, and describes himself as her uncle. Conner’s father, Jamie West, has provided electrical and plumbing work for Dorsey Farms.

Late last month, Friday, Aug. 30, Martin and Conner were driving south on the Ray City Highway, headed to Ray’s Mill Pond Cafe, when Conner noticed flames and smoke rising from a shelter that housed a grain dryer located on Dorsey Farms. She noticed the flames and insisted that Martin stop to help. Martin, noticing neither the flames nor the smoke, insisted that it was probably nothing. He was then pressured again by Conner to stop, so he did.

Once he turned onto the dirt road that led to the shelter, he noticed the smoke. Martin tried calling 911 on his cell phone, but he did not get through. He then called Jamie West, and was instructed on how to turn off all of the electric breakers, and the gas valves.

Martin is retired from the Air Force, and he works in the engineering and technical services at Moody Air Force Base. He said, “The military trained me to think ahead.”

When Martin entered the shelter, he noticed a fire that was in its beginning stages, but it also had “pretty good flames.” Martin was able to turn off the electric breakers, and shut off the propane supply to the grain dryer. Once the propane supply was cut off, Martin said

 that the fire was practically out other than a tarp that had caught fire, and he found a shovel nearby then shoveled dirt onto it and extinguished the flames.

The shelter also housed two large tractors, one of which was a loaner, an industrial sprayer with an estimated price tag of $100,000, a 10,000-gallon diesel tank, and a large propane tank. Located near the shelter is the building where Dorsey Farms processes its online orders; this building contains more than $10,000 in products.

Dee Shiver, part owner of Dorsey Farms, said that if the fire had reached either the propane or diesel tanks, they would have lost everything in and near the shelter.

When asked about his efforts, Martin said that he knew the fire was in its developing stages, and if he had felt in danger, he would have taken different precautions; he knew that he was not in danger. After the fire was extinguished, the Ray City Fire Department and Dorsey Farms owner Jeff Dorsey arrived on the scene. Martin also said that he did what anyone else would have done, and that it was “just another day.”

Knowing that the situation was under control, Martin and Conner went to dinner as planned. The restaurant received a phone call from Jeff Dorsey instructing them that he would pay for Martin and Conner’s meal. The owners at Dorsey Farms wanted to thank both Tim Martin and Conner West for the extraordinary actions that saved their farm.

Text Only
Local News
  • election.jpg Black earns most votes in runoff

    State Rep. Ellis Black led the votes for state Senate District 8 Friday with seven of seven counties reporting certified results, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140724-LAT1.jpg Little Actors Theatre ready for summer show

    Since 2004, the Little Actors Theatre has provided a place for children ages 6 to 19 to express themselves through acting.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072414-MichelleNunn003.jpeg Michelle Nunn visits Valdosta

    The day after learning that her Republican challenger would be David Perdue, Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn kicked off her Common Sense and Collaboration Tour Wednesday by meeting with business owners in Atlanta, Athens and Macon and continued her tour Thursday morning by visiting the David S. Waller Unit facility of the Boys and Girls Club of Valdosta.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • lunch.jpg Valdosta One Lunch feeds summer-hungry kids

    Hunger is a concept that many people associate with third-world countries, not their hometown. However, in Valdosta, hunger is real. To combat this hunger, a group of Valdostans have created Valdosta One Lunch, a program that distributes bagged meals to children in need.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up.jpeg Moody squadron commander reaches milestone

    The 75th Fighter Squadron commander hit a career milestone July 17, by surpassing 3,000 flight hours in an A-10C Thunderbolt II.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • water.jpg New equipment expected to deal with Lowndes water violations

    The Lowndes County Commission’s recent approval of $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment is expected to counter a past series of water-quality violations within the county.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 142314-Goodwill.jpg Goodwill hosts the Mexican Consulate

    Mexican citizens living in South Georgia have spent this week lining up at the Valdosta Goodwill to meet with the Mexican Consulate to obtain Mexican government issued identification.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723-Tree001.jpg Chamber plants 100th centennial tree

    Founded in September 1912, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in the state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140723 - Operation M#10E3C7.JPG Veterans First

    With Moody Air Force Base expecting to lose 300 to 400 personnel due to government cutbacks, area organizations are working with military personnel about to enter the civilian work force.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lowndes increases millage rate

    For the first time since 1999, the Lowndes County Commission voted Wednesday to increase the millage rate.

    July 24, 2014

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results