By Wayne Gates –
Firefighters from all over Brown County had their hands full with a house fire in Georgetown on Tuesday, May 1.
The fire broke out at the home at Second and Pleasant streets in the afternoon.
The first firefighters were on the scene in about eight minutes, finding the front of the house already in flames.
When they got there, they found Georgetown Police Chief Rob Freeland and Georgetown Village Administrator Art Owens.
“The police chief and I went over there first. When we got there, the front rooms and the porch of the house were on fire,” Owens said.
Owens, who is also a trained firefighter, began assessing the situation.
“I saw a door open, so I went into the back of the house and a man was in there. He was inside looking for a dog. I pulled him out, made him stay out, and when the fire department arrived, we hooked up to the hydrants and started fire suppression.”
The Georgetown Fire Department was first on the scene, followed by mutual aid support from the Hamersville, Ripley and Mt. Orab fire departments.
Georgetown Firefighter Jeff Houchin had to be hospitalized briefly after experiencing smoke inhalation at the scene.
“He was on one of the lines making an advance on the front of the house and a seal failed in his mask. He got a gulp of smoke and started experiencing some chest pain,” Owens said.
Houchin was taken to Mt. Orab Mercy for evaluation and then transferred to Mercy Anderson for evaluation. Owens said that he expected Houchin to make a quick recovery.
Owens also said that the fire is a lesson to everyone to leave immediately if a fire breaks out in their home, rather than stay and look for pets or valuables.
“The resident could have easily died in there. The house was filling with smoke and was already coughing,” Owens said.
He added that he and the village are grateful for the help provided during the fire.
“I also want to thank all of the fire departments that responded. They did a fantastic job.”
The fire is being investigated by the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office.