Quick work by Forsyth County firefighters ended in the successful rescue of a resident from a Horseshoe Bend home in northeast Forsyth that was quickly filling with smoke from a mattress fire.
Officials say they responded to a fire at around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, and that crews were on the scene for about an hour and a half.
According to Division Chief Jason Shivers, a 78-year-old man was home alone when the fire started. Shivers said smoke alarms in the home were not in working condition, but the man was awake and could smell the smoke before calling the fire department. Shivers said he was unable to leave the home without assistance.
A sheriff’s deputy was on scene before firefighters and was trying to get to the man inside. According to Shivers, the smoke was too thick for the deputy to get inside the house. Firefighters worked alongside the deputy to rescue the man and put out the fire.
Shivers said the man sustained very minor injuries due to smoke inhalation, but he did not have any burn injuries. The man was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville for treatment.
Shivers also said that the “slow-burning, small fire” was contained to the man’s mattress and bed, and that the bed had some water damage and the house had smoke damage throughout.
“It’s fortunate that [the man] was awake at the time of the fire and had not fallen asleep in his living room,” Shivers said. “Had he fallen asleep … the outcome could have been tragic.”
Shivers also said it was “fortunate” that Fire Station No. 9 was close to the man’s house and that firefighters could get there quickly to render aid.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.