Fire Ravages Beech Hill Home
Fire and Rescue volunteers use a dump tank and multiple tankers while battling the flames of a burning Beech Hill home. Emergency personnel spent hours on scene ensuring the fire was contained to the upper levels of the residence. NATHAN GOMILLION / PULASKI CITIZEN
by Nathan Gomillion
First responders raced to a remote Giles home midday Saturday after a fire defied down-pouring rainfall in an attempt to consume a Beech Hill residence.
According to Giles County Fire and Rescue Chief Josh Fralix, GCFR was dispatched to the scene at approximately 1:30 p.m. where they attempted to keep the fire under control by isolating the blaze to the upper level of the structure. Despite the rain, and the countless gallons of water being pumped over the burning structure, the fire continued to thrive, requiring multiple Fire and Rescue tankers to dump their water reserves and leave for refills.
Volunteer firefighters battled the flames for multiple hours. No injuries were reported.
Lincoln County Fire and Rescue provided mutual aid. Also assisting on scene were Giles County’s Sheriff’s Department and EMS. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s office.
According to homeowner Jim Hewitt, the source of the blaze was suspected to be a lightning strike during a mild storm over the weekend.
“I had one of my boys out doing chores,” Hewitt said. “He heard a really loud bang, and a really bright flash. It scared him so badly that he ran into the house. But, nobody saw the smoke until a little while later. One of my daughters was in her bedroom when she noticed glowing red ashes coming down in front of her window. She looked outside of the window and saw flames coming out of the vent of the attic.”
After the remainder of the house was cleared of flames, the aftermath of the fire was substantial.
“It completely took the roof off,” Hewitt went on to say. “All of that ash fell downwards into the house. Also, the fire department dumped many, many truckloads of water into the house, so much of the sheet rock and floors will have to be replaced. Everything upstairs is burnt, and everything downstairs is wet. It’s just a big mess.
“I just want to really thank the emergency service personnel. They worked so hard, were so well coordinated, and went real smoothly for there being multiple fire departments there. The fire was hard to get to, and I don’t think any more could have been done. I really appreciate what they do.”
Without much of a warning, the family was not able to get much out of the house in time. Without their home and many critical items, such as clothes and food, one family member found a way to let the community help.
“So many people asked me how I could help that I decided to setup a GoFundMe Page to help lighten the load for my parents while they figure out the next steps,” daughter Ashlee Hewitt stated. “My parents have 14 children at home, and everybody evacuated so quickly, there wasn’t much time to grab their belongings. My parents and some of the kids are staying at the hotel for the time being.
“It was devastating this happened, but we are so thankful everyone made it out safe. That is the most important thing. God was definitely looking out for everybody.”
To make a donation, a link can be found on Ashlee Hewitt’s Facebook page, or through the official GoFundMe site under ‘Hewitt Family House Fire—Pulaski, TN.’
“Thank you to everyone who has already donated,” Ashlee Hewitt concluded. “The community has shown so much love and support already, and we couldn’t be more appreciative. A huge thanks to the emergency crews that responded and worked so hard to put the fire out.”