City officials praise two meter readers for quick reaction to Peach Street fire
By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor
Two meter readers were lauded by city officials Monday for their quick reaction to a structure fire on Peach Street Friday. The pair not only made sure the residents got out of the house safely, but also worked to extinguish the fire until firefighters arrived.
�They went above and beyond their duties to take control of a situation that could have been extremely bad,� Bo Buckland, superintendent for the city�s water and sewer department, said Monday of customer service representatives James Jordan and Josh Fouse.
Jordan and Fouse were returning from their duties checking a couple of water meters in the area of South Davis Street and Peach Street Friday, when they “noticed smoke coming from the home that was not normal” chimney smoke. The pair stopped to check it out, and noticed the “front door was in flames.”
Fouse went to the front door and started calling out to see if anyone was inside the home, while Jordan went back to the truck to try to alert city officials of the fire via their city radios.
When they got a response to their shouts, Jordan ran around the back of the house, where he found the back door open and two small children and their mother inside the structure. The mother was attempting to get through to emergency dispatchers by phone.
Jordan grabbed the two children, one an infant and the other of preschool age, wrapped them up and took them to the city truck so they wouldn’t suffer ill effects of the smoke. He advised the mother that he was in contact with city officials via his radio and they awaited the fire department in the city truck.
Meanwhile, Fouse was still at the front of the house, where he found the fire to be quite a bit smaller than the meter readers originally thought, based on the smoke they had seen. The fire was contained to the front entry area. Fouse, who had no fire training aside from basic fire safety instructions given during training while in the Navy, used his jacket to try to douse the flames, swatting at the flames on a stack of wood. He had just “whooped it out” when firefighters arrived, they said.
Thankfully, the immediate wall, door, some logs and a rug were the only items damaged in the house. No one was injured.
City officials, upon learning of Fouse and Jordan’s quick actions Friday, bragged on the pair, who they said are not ones to brag or draw attention to themselves.