Fatal fire in Trion tough loss for firefighters - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fatal fire in Trion tough loss for firefighters

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CHATTOOGA COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -

Firefighters said this is the deadliest fire they've seen this year and the hardest call they've ever responded to. It was all hands on deck battling this fire. Three volunteer fire departments responded; Trion Fire Department, Summerville Fire Department, and Hays Fire Department. The chief's agree it was one of their hardest fires to fight, structure wise and emotionally. 

After a long night, firefighters returned to their stations. Ready to start a new day, after an evening filled with tragedy. “It’s tough on all of them. We've had some debriefing. Everyone handles it differently. But it has been tough on them,” said Trion Chief Ben Bandy.

When crews arrived they weren’t able to enter the mobile home. The flames were too large. Now burned debris is all that remains. “Fire all the way through it. Heavy smoke, went on the defensive attack, all the firefighters, everyone did awesome. Hard work, worked together.”

READ MORE | UPDATE: Six including four children dead in Chattooga County fire

Summerville Fire Chief Robbie Lathem has been a fire fighter for 13 years. His main focus was comforting the grieving family. “Recover those kids and that family. Give the family a sense of peace.” He’s now turned to taking care of his men, who are also grieving. “That is something you got to live with. You knew there wasn’t going to be anything you were going to be able to do to change the outcome of this.”

Many questions are still unanswered for a small community with such a big loss. But firefighters agree, if there were working smoke detectors the outcome might have been different.  “We never heard any going off that is something you pick up on the years. The guys said the same thing, never heard the smoke detector going off.“

READ MORE | How to make sure your mobile home is safe in the event of a fire

If you do not have a working smoke alarm in your house, contact your local fire department and they will come out and install one for you for free. 

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