Brush fire ravages Lick Creek Road hillside

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 5, 2003

SOUTH POINT - When Shannon Preston pulled into the driveway at her Lick Creek Road home Tuesday and saw the hillside engulfed in flames, she expected the worst in what has already been a bad week.

Preston was returning from a Charleston, W. Va., hospital where her husband is staying after suffering a recent heart attack. She came home to her home at 595 County Road 15 to find that a neighbor's trash fire had gotten out of control and had quickly spread to cover the hillside behind her home.

The Coal Grove and Perry Township volunteer fire departments got the call around noon and continued battling the blaze well into the early evening. Nearly a dozen firefighter worked to contain it on the north side where several homes were threatened.

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"It started to come down the hill but they sprayed down the back of the house and propane tank," Preston said. "It started to come down but they got it before it got the house."

Coal Grove Firefighter Lee Reffitt said the blaze began as a trash fire but was burning extremely hot and moved quickly across the hillside.

Several area residents and private citizens pitched in to help direct traffic and assist in fire fighting efforts.

Jeremiah Thompson was on his way to see his parents when he saw the fire. He immediately called 911 and grabbed a rake to help out once the firefighters arrived.

"I was just helping out," he said. "These guys do it every day."

Preston was also impressed with the firefighters who she is convinced probably saved her home.

"I really want to thank them for getting here in a timely manner," she said. "It could have been a lot worse."