MURRAY — Calloway County Fire-Rescue had to battle not only a house fire Thursday morning just south of Murray, but the elements as well.
CCFR Chief Tommy Morgan said firefighters were called to respond at about 6:30 to a single-story residence on Applewood Road. He said, upon arrival, it was obvious that the 1,600-square-foot house could not be saved as the structure had heavy fire showing from several areas.
However, he said it would have been a tough job to save it anyway. Icy road conditions from overnight freezing rain and sleet made reaching the fire fast for CCFR’s trucks basically impossible.
“So that gave the fire a head start on us and, by the time we finally started getting there, it was way ahead of us. At that point, all you can do is protect adjoining structures,” Morgan said.
Not helping the situation was that one of CCFR’s pumper trucks experienced a lengthy delay in reaching the scene. While in route, Morgan said that truck slid off icy Applewood a short distance after making a turn from KY 121 South.
“It wasn’t like it went way off the road. It didn’t crash, but it did go into some mud and got stuck. We had to have it towed out in order for it to get to the fire,” he said. “The grass does freeze, but when you’re talking about a big fire truck, it can go right through that ice to the mud.”
Morgan said a contributing factor to the truck leaving the road was that a driver did not allow enough room for the unit as it was attempting to pass, something he said is not unusual.
“Over the next several days, people are going to see us out in the community with our red lights and sirens on. We may not be able to go real fast, but we are going to be out on the roads. We need people to give us room,” he said. “This is a problem for us. Sometimes, people aren’t really good about that, so we need them to really work with us this weekend.”
Morgan said CCFR units not only will be responding to any fire or wreck call it receives, but, as is the custom during winter weather event, firefighters will be helping with non-emergencies. These can include helping residents go to doctor’s appointments or supplying transportation for agencies such as Meals on Wheels.
As for Thursday’s fire, Morgan said the house was unoccupied as the previous inhabitant had died in summer 2020. However, the electricity and natural gas was still activated, so it is possible one of those systems could have developed a problem that could have caused the fire. He said that it appears the origin was somewhere in the garage area.