Article provided by Hawesville Assistant Fire Chief, Jason Bevill.
Hawesville and Lewisport Fire Departments were paged to a structure fire at 265 Harrison Street at 11:10 a.m. on December 23rd, 2022. The occupants, Terry and Melissa Roberts, were out of the house, but it’s believed there was a dog or two inside. I passed by the house on the way to the fire house to get the truck and other responders. I chose to come in the bottom side of town to see how bad it was and also avoid the slick conditions on town hill. After I saw the amount of smoke that was coming out and knew it was a working fire, I also requested Dispatch to page Dukes Fire Department to help.
When we arrived, the back portion of the residence was fully involved. Hancock County EMS had one individual from the home with burns and transported them to Perry County Memorial Hospital. I have not had an update of their condition. One dog did get out and has been recovered.
The cold weather was a factor in trying to extinguish the home. The cold is difficult to be in, period but with spraying water in those temperatures, it makes it very difficult. It was 5 degrees, with a -14 wind chill. You have to take preventative measures to keep everything from freezing up, but the wind was our biggest problem. The wind was steady at 20-25 mph and gusting 35 mph at times.
The direction of the wind was coming from the west and pushing the fire through the house very quickly. It also cut down visibility because all of the smoke was close to the ground and blowing sideways instead of going up. Because of these conditions, we took what we call a defensive stance. We also had to protect the home next door, as the siding had already melted from the heat. If you don’t protect the “exposures” as we call it, you can have two homes on fire, not just one.
Smoke was close to the ground and blowing sideways instead of going up. Because of these conditions, we took what we call a defensive stance. We also had to protect the home next door, as the siding had already melted from the heat. If you don’t protect the “exposures” as we call it, you can have two homes on fire, not just one.
The cause and origin of the fire is still under investigation. We have not been able to complete the investigation as of yet because everything is frozen solid. The home was a total loss.
We want to thank all of the firefighters, Hancock County EMS, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Hancock County Dispatch and any other responders involved that day because those were some extreme conditions to be doing that job. Also, I want to thank anyone who assisted our responders on scene. We had Janice Shelton (neighbor) bring coffee, Tell City Fire Department brought over hot chocolate, Powers Express, the Hawesville Water Department, State Road Department, Kenergy, Atmos, the Hawesville FD Ladies Auxiliary provided a hot meal when we returned to the station. If I missed someone, I apologize, but know we are gracious.