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Etowah County Fire Departments Busy Monday, Tuesday; Firefighters Suffer Minor Injuries

Fires in Glencoe and Gadsden kept responding agencies busy Monday and into Tuesday morning.

A fire early Tuesday morning in the Country Club area of Gadsden sent three firefighters to a local hospital for treatment. One was injured when a floor gave way beneath the firefighters and three of them fell into a basement area, according to Assistant Chief Lecil Harrelson. Another later fell in the same location, and a third was injured cutting himself on aluminum as firefighters cut through garage doors to get inside the residence.

Gadsden firefighters responded to the blaze not long after midnight, with assistance from Rainbow City Fire Department.

Harrelson said a situation like that one — when firefighters fall into a basement while battling a blaze — can often result in serious injuries. He said they will fall because fire is burning in the basement and it weakens the floor under them.

That happened in this case, too, Harrelson said; the fire burned through subflooring, but the hardwood flooring covered by a rug appeared to be intact. When the firefighters stepped on that part of the floor, however, it gave way. Two escaped injury, Harrelson explained, because one was holding the nozzle and the hose slowed his fall, and the other firefighter fell on top of him.

"He broke the fall," Harrelson said.

He said crews from Advantage EMS and A-Med Ambulance Service helped transport the injured firefighters to Riverview Regional Medical Center.

A home on Washington Street appeared to suffer heavy damage in a fire that started about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

A fire in Glencoe Monday brought firefighters from several surrounding municipalities in response to a fire at a home on the water.

Glencoe Chief Richard Johnson said firefighters arrived to find heavy fire and smoke on left and rear side of the house. They got a supply line in place and tried to make entry, but the fire spread to the roof and ceiling and they had to knock it down before they could safely attack the fire from inside the residence.

"It took about 30 or 40 minutes to get it under control," Johnson said.

In addition to Glencoe's units, Gadsden, Southside and Hokes Bluff firefighters were on the scene.

"It's a blessing that we have that automatic mutual aid agreement," Johnson said, between neighboring departments. Since the agreement was put in place in March, he said, "we all run to each other's aid."

No residents were injured in any of the fires. (Gadsden Times)

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