A pair of fires kept Forsyth County firefighters busy as the work week began, one caused by a lightning strike, then a call involving an overheated lithium battery.
The first fire, reported at around 5 p.m., Monday, June 6, was in a home on Ansley Way in the Olde Atlanta Club subdivision in south Forsyth. The homeowner told firefighters he heard a loud boom that sounded like a transformer exploding, and when he walked outside he saw smoke and fire coming from his attic. The fire department dispatched four engines, a ladder truck and a Battalion Chief.
Division Chief Jason Shivers said the fire was confined to the attic, but the home did sustain some damage from the upstairs drywall collapsing during the fire as well as from the water used to fight the blaze. Shivers said no one living in the home was injured, but two firefighters received minor injuries, one injured his shoulder when a piece of ceiling collapsed, and the other injured an ankle walking through the debris. Shivers said the injuries were very minor, and both firefighters will return to duty shortly.
A second fire in north Forsyth in the Green Summers subdivision on Scenic View Court was reported at 3:50 a.m, Monday, June 6. Residents were awakened by a smoke alarm and found an electric skateboard laying on a stuffed animal on fire. The residents called 911 but where able to put the fire out with an extinguisher before the fire department arrived.
Shivers said Forsyth County Engine 3 responded to confirm that the fire was out, and to assist the residents by removing the debris and clearing the smoke from the home, which received only minor damage. The person who put the fire out was a juvenile who was staying there with his sister and grandmother while the parents were out of town. He told firefighters that the charger for the skateboard was new.
He said the fire serves a cautionary tale to others who may have low cost toys or other items that use Lithium Ion batteries in their homes.
"We are seeing enough of these types of fires to be concerned," he explained, adding that people should monitor the devices when charging them, "these should only be on a charger when there is someone at home and awake to take action if the battery does catch fire."