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Fire destroys home on Whippoorwill Drive

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Fire destroys home on Whippoorwill Drive


               Statesboro firefighters responded to a house fire on Whippoorwill Drive Thursday evening, but the structure was a total loss after hours of fighting the blaze.
        Around 4:45 p.m. Thursday, firefighters from the Statesboro fire and Bulloch County Fire departments "responded to 31 Whippoorwill Drive for a reported, possible structure fire," said SFD Lt. Derek Stoddard. "A first-arriving unit on scene found light smoke showing upon arrival, and confirmed visible flames and a working structure fire after performing a complete size up."
         Firefighters tackled the flames from inside and out, but the fire had already spread into the attic, he said.
        "Collapse of sections of both the roof and exterior portions of the house required offensive operational tactics to be reevaluated for firefighter safety. Continuous, aggressive, yet safe, fire attacks led to extinguishment of the fire and allowed for fire damage to be confined to the second story of the structure, and fire personnel were able to remove many of the family's personal belongings to safety."
        Neighbors said the family of Hoke Brunson was able to save some photos and portraits and items in the garage, but a Statesboro Fire Department spokesperson said the 5,800-square-foot structure off Pulaski Highway was completely destroyed. Firefighters from both the Bulloch County and Statesboro fire departments remained on the scene "for almost 12 hours in near freezing weather, ensuring that overhaul of the structure and salvage of belongings were completed," Stoddard said.
        Details of how the fire started were unavailable Friday, as firefighters had not completed reports.
Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn said Bulloch County 911 was compiling at least "eight hours worth" of radio traffic for firefighters in preparation of their reports.
        Brunson said Friday, "We are blessed for me to even be here to make this statement. The generous offers (of assistance and places to stay) are overwhelming. We are blessed to have such good people in this community."
        No one was injured in the fire, Wynn said.
        Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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