Local Firefighters Battle Multiple Blazes


BURNING COTTON - Last Wednesday, Dresden Fire Department personnel were dispatched to Highway 54 East to extinguish a vehicle fire. A cotton transport truck hauling four bales of cotton was ablaze. The stubborn fire reignited the next day, and was doused with water once again to drown the smoldering cotton embers.

HOME DESTROYED - A rural Weakley County residence was destroyed by fire on Sunday, Nov. 20. Multiple fire departments responded, but the home was too far gone by the time the blaze was reported and firefighters could arrive at the scene.



Local firefighters were kept busy these past few days responding to a variety of fires.

The home of Robert Solomon, located at 214 Blooming Grove South of McKenzie in Weakley County, was destroyed by a late afternoon fire on Sunday, Nov. 20.

After receiving a fire call at approximately 5:15 p.m., fire departments from Gleason and Pillowville, along with personnel with Weakley County EMS and Weakley County Sheriff’s Department, assisted McKenzie Fire and Rescue in battling the blaze.

When McKenzie firefighters arrived at the scene, they found the structure was heavily involved with flames. McKenzie immediately requested mutual aid from other departments because they lacked fire hydrants in the rural Weakley County community.

McKenzie Fire and Rescue established a water holding tank for water tankers to fill as they shuttled water from McKenzie to the residence.

Three 1.75-inch water lines were utilized by firefighters from McKenzie and Gleason to help contain the blaze.

Firefighters worked in freezing temperatures for over three hours, but despite their best efforts, they were unable to save the rural dwelling. However, they did prevent the flames from spreading to neighboring properties.

On Wed., Nov. 23, Dresden Fire Department personnel were dispatched to Highway 54 East for a vehicle fire.

Upon arrival, personnel found a cotton transport truck with four bales of cotton ablaze. Personnel extinguished the bales and the rear of the transport truck.

No injuries were reported, however, Highway 54 was shut down for approximately 45 minutes during the callout.

Unfortunately, at 8:00 the next morning, Dresden firefighters were called back to the scene due to the cotton bales reigniting. At that time, it was anticipated that the cotton on Highway 54 could continue smoking for several days. DFD personnel checked on the cotton bales periodically until they were satisfied the fire had been completely extinguished.

While firefighters were still at the scene of the cotton bale fire, DFD was dispatched to an automatic fire alarm at National Tobacco in the downtown area.

Additionally DFD personnel responded to Weakley County Nursing Home Road and Highway 22 for a wildland fire, while personnel were still on scene of the cotton transport fire.

When Engine 3 arrived on scene, the wildland fire was spreading quickly towards multiple structures. Mutual aid was received from the City of Martin Fire/Rescue/EMS, Sharon Fire/Rescue, and Latham Fire.

At 5:50 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 24, fire personnel responded to the Weakley County Courthouse due to an automatic alarm sounding. Fire companies arrived on the scene and found a faulty detector on the third floor. All companies cleared the scene at 6:45 p.m.