Hopkins County dispatchers were first contacted just before 7 a.m. Friday by a Como-Pickton school bus driver, who phoned in the blaze while on her regular route. A neighbor also noticed the blaze, alerted the resident and contacted authorities as well, according to communications operators.
Pickton-Pine Forest, Hopkins County and Brinker firefighters were dispatched at 7 a.m. to the area of the Oud dairy. Pickton-Pine Forest volunteer firefighters, the first to arrive, reported a heavy cloud of smoke upon approach. They reported a dairy worker’s home to be on fire on County Road 2333 at County Road 2346. As they neared the house, they reported half of it, which was separated in the middle by an open breezeway with a second story added to the back of one section, to be on fire.
Como firefighters also responded, and Winnsboro Volunteer Fire Dept. was asked to send a tanker for additional water support, but was told to disregard the request just prior to arrival at the location.
When Hopkins County firefighters arrived, they reported fire blazing 20-30 feet out of the front of the house. Firefighters attempted an interior attack, but due to the heavy fire and wind had to back out. They then made entry from the second story section on the back of the house but again had to pull out when the ceiling in the living room started to fall in. One crew attempted to tackle the blaze from the second floor balcony but got off when it became apparent the structure under them was on fire. They got down and the ceiling collapsed, according to Hopkins County firefighters.
The fire was stopped at the breezeway.
Firefighters remained on scene until 9:30 a.m. checking for smoldering embers inside the framework.
The Ouds’ son, who also works at the family dairy, was said to be at work when the fire occurred and was the only person living at the house. The Greenville branch of the American Red Cross was contacted and was checking late Friday morning to see if he will need assistance, firefighters said.
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