Paula Posey flees burning trailer house Monday morning; suffers minor injuries
Saturday fire destroys CR 4120 building, equipment
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Hopkins County, Dike, Sulphur Bluff and North Hopkins firefighters worked Monday morning to keep the fire which destroyed this FM 71 trailer house from spreading to nearby grass and propane containers. Resident Paula Posey fled the fire, salvaging only the clothes she had on, and sustaining minor injuries.
Photo by Patti Sells

Feb. 1, 2006 - One woman sustained what were thought to be minor injures as she fled the fire which destroyed her Hatchetville trailer house late Monday morning.

Paula Posey contacted emergency officials at 9:48 a.m. Monday, advising her FM 71 east trailer was on fire. She escaped the burning structure in the shorts she had been sleeping in and sustained some minor cuts in the process. She was taken to a neighbor’s house where she was wrapped in blankets and treated by ambulance crews.

Hopkins County, Dike, North Hopkins and Sulphur Bluff fire departments sent units to the location to try to extinguish the fire, which had fully engulfed the residence prior to their arrival a few minutes later. Sulphur Bluff’s tanker truck was sent to the location to provide water support and Hopkins County Fire’s hazardous materials team was also activated, marking the second time the specially trained firefighters were called in on a structure fire in the last three days.

Monday, the haz-mat crew was contacted due to ammunition being discharged inside the blazing structure as well as propane odors detected in the structure and the proximity to several propane bottles located outside the trailer at 4151 FM 71 east.

Firefighters had the Monday blaze under control by 10:15 a.m., but continued working at the scene until noon extinguishing the blaze and grass fires which spread to the areas around the trailer, and monitoring the smoldering remains. A vehicle outside the small trailer was also destroyed by the fire.

Hopkins County Salvation Army also said at noon they will be accepting monetary donations as well as ladies size 7  pants, size medium shirts and size 9 shoes to assist Paula Posey. Donations may be made at HCSA headquarters, located inside The Bait & Tackle Shop at 1702 South Broadway St., or by calling 903-885-9858. HCSA Chairman Jo Marie Neal was still working with Posey at noon to try to help her with immediate clothing and shelter needs.

In a separate incident on Saturday, Hopkins County firefighters and haz-mat technicians, worked alongside Cumby and Miller Grove firefighters to extinguish a blaze in a County Road 4120 building containing at least one tractor, a truck, other equipment and at least five 50-gallon drums containing a gas-diesel mixture. Brinker’s tanker truck was utilized for water support, and Pickton-Pine Forest’s tanker was placed on standby as a precaution. The haz-mat team was contacted due to the hazardous contents of the building, the fact that it had spread to the grass around the building and the building’s close proximity to a residence on the property.

A Campbell firefighter called the Saturday fire in to local officials, reporting the structure was fully involved. Cumby firefighters made an interior attack on the blaze and began spraying the fuel containers to cool them off, with Hopkins County arriving to assist with the hazardous materials.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the building and grassy area around it, protecting the house. They got to the fuel containers just in time to prevent them from exploding. Parts of the roof were damaged, but the blaze was halted just shy of the roof falling in on the structure. The equipment and machinery inside was destroyed.

The cause of both fires have yet to be determined at noon Monday, pending further investigation by Hopkins County Fire Investigator Steve Caudle.

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