CRAB ORCHARD - New details on the firefighters injured in Raleigh County after explosions threw them across the front yard of a home engulfed in flames. 153 Hatfield Rd. in Crab Orchard was lost in a fire, and officials said after speaking with the homeowner, they have an idea of what caused it.
“The gentlemen told me that his hot water tank had been frozen, still had power on it. It could have overheated and caused an electrical wire to malfunction and set the house on fire,” said Chief Jeffrey Pittman of the Sophia Fire Dept.
Firefighters who were on scene recalled what happened, as this routine fire situation took a dangerous turn.
Pittman said, “we hadn't made entry into the house which probably was a good thing at that point.” Volunteer firefighter, Jenna Bishop said, “a loud explosion come over them and all I seen was flames shooting out and our firemen getting scattered everywhere.”
This house fire that began on Tuesday evening was so large it actually needed multiple fire departments after serious blasts coming from oxygen tanks within the house, a few firefighters were sent to the emergency room. We spoke with one today that said she's just grateful that everyone is ok.
“Things can change in an instant. This was a routine fire and had our truck not malfunctioned we would have probably lost a few firemen,” said Bishop. “It was a horrifying scene to see and I'm just glad that everybody is ok because it's not every day that that happens and people come out alive.”
The brotherhood, and dedication to the people they protect, is what kept these volunteers fighting.
Bishop said, “that's your brother that's your sister and you're going to help them in any way that you can.
Everybody just getting up one by one, seeing them get up and trying to see if they were ok. You gotta give em credit because even though some of them were in the blast they still continued to fight.”
The Raleigh County crisis team is providing aid for the victims of this fire.