Picking up the piecesPublished 8:52am Thursday, April 17, 2014
POWELLSVILLE – He is usually the one who helps others. Now he could use a little of that help paid back his way.
An early morning blaze near here on Tuesday completely destroyed the rented home of Stan Shields and his family at 2709 US 13 North in Powellsville, located in the Piney Wood Chapel community.
Fortunately, all the human occupants were able to escape the burning blaze safely. However, three of the family’s pets, a dog and two cats, perished.
According to Powellsville Fire Department Captain, Herbie Taylor, who was on the scene and assisted with his fellow fire fighters in combating the blaze, the fire call came in to the Powellsville fire station at 7:49 a.m. Two pumpers and two tankers were dispatched from the station and firemen were on the scene within minutes, arriving at 7:56.
The Askewville Fire Department also arrived on the scene with another tanker as well as manpower.
“When we arrived the house was totally engulfed in flames,” said Taylor.
Shields said three families were all living together in the home at the time. According to one of the occupants, a woman residing in the home told firefighters she was awakened by a loud noise that sounded like a pop and when she went into her living room to investigate, the room was completely engulfed in flames. The woman was able to quickly awaken her mother, the other adults and the children and get everyone out of the house to safety before the firemen arrived.
“I had just left for work,” Shields told the News-Herald. “When I got the call, I hurried back home and actually ended up following the fire trucks.”
A Tuesday morning rainstorm was Mother Nature’s way of assisting the firemen in extinguishing the flames and helped to get the blaze under control within minutes. However, even those noble efforts came too late and everything the Shields’ owned was destroyed.
Powellsville Fire Chief David Powell says he contacted the American Red Cross who assisted the families in finding temporary shelter. Anyone who would like to assist the Shields can contact the local Red Cross for further information.
“Everybody’s trying to kick in and help out with that they can,” Shields said. “It all helps out.”
For now, the previous 11 occupants of the burned out dwelling have been displaced, but their spirits and hopes have not.
“I’ve always found a way to make it,” he added optimistically. “And I know I can do it again.”