By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Fire ignites in Portal police chiefs house
Sapp and Fire Chief Ivey were cooking when grease apparently ignited on stove
Placeholder Image
    Portal Police Chief Jason Sapp and Portal’s Volunteer Fire Chief Christopher Ivey didn’t have to go very far Saturday night when responding to a house fire: the blaze was at Sapp’s house, and he and Ivey were cooking supper.
    The two men were grilling hamburgers at Sapp’s Aycock Street home in Portal while  their wives made a trip to the store, Ivey said.
    The fire occurred around 8:30 p.m.
    “I was flipping burgers and Jason was in the house, about to cook French fries,” Ivey said Monday. “Jason came outside and hadn’t been outside three minutes at the most and one of the kids came out and said the kitchen was on fire.”
    Apparently the cooking oil that was to be used for the French fries overheated, he said.
    Ivey tried reaching Bulloch County Central 911 by radio, but the dispatchers were obviously tied up with other calls, he said.
    However, other volunteer firefighters heard his calls for help over the radio and responded, sending a Portal Volunteer fire truck to the scene, said Portal Assistant Fire Chief Tony Deal.
    The two chiefs didn’t wait for backup, however. Sapp had a fire extinguisher, and Ivey had one in his vehicle.
    Ivey used the fire extinguishers to battle the blaze and ended up suffering from smoke inhalation, he said.
    “A little oxygen (from responding Bulloch County EMS medics) and I was good to go,” he said.
    “We both got a little smoke,” Sapp said. “But we were all right. It could have been a lot worse, and I am glad we were right there on top of it. (The whole house) could have gone up in a  skinny minute.”
    Ivey said Sapp’s house suffered heavy damage to the kitchen area and smoke damage throughout the house.
    Fortunately, no one was hurt, he said.
    Both he and Sapp have been the target of many jokes about the cookout-turned-house fire, he said.
    “There’s been a lot said about the fire chief and the police chief trying to burn the house down,” he said.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414. 
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter