After Fay's departure, it didn't take Mother Nature too long to remind everyone that it still is Hurricane Season: as the Labor Day weekend comes to a close, the Emergency Operations Center activated to a Level III staffing on Tuesday, September 2, in order to facilitate monitoring and tracking activity for Tropical Storm 'Hanna.' Although, as per usual, the immediate path and impact area of Hanna is still quite unknown, the necessity for all citizens to review their personal hurricane preparedness/readiness kits and procedures is once again apparent. Hanna represents merely one possible threat, as immediately behind her is 'Ike,' along with tropical depression number 10 right behind the aforementioned. Indeed: a busy storm season, as had been predicted by the experts, is slowly emerging as a reality.
Even though the news of storm activity seems to dominate public safety issues locally, the actual truth is that the Fire/Rescue Department continues to respond to typical emergencies on a regular basis. A good example of the aforementioned occurred early Wednesday morning, September 17, when units responded to the report of a single story, single family structure fire on Chesterton Road, just off Anniston in East Arlington. An early morning motorist just happened to glance down the dark, dead-end street during a regular morning commute and observed a bright glow shining from the far corner of the street, prompting a timely 9-1-1 call. The timeliness of the call would soon become quite apparent, as during the primary search the crew from Ladder 28 immediately discovered a coughing, disoriented 52 year old white male on the floor inside the fully involved structure. With flames pouring through the roof and smoke engulfing every single room inside the home, the firefighters skillfully managed to extricate the potential victim from both the blaze and certain death. With the fire subdued in a very short time, rescuers were soon relieved to discover that the trapped homeowner was no worse for wear and tear, refusing transport to the hospital and in good spirits following the harrowing ordeal. The official cause of the fire was still under investigation, with the Fire Prevention Bureau representative focusing primarily on the back section of the house where the majority of the damage was found.