Propane gas, chickens, complicate Phenix City firefighting effor - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Propane gas, chickens, complicate Phenix City firefighting efforts

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Photo taken by Mandy Irvin Photo taken by Mandy Irvin
Photo taken by Mandy Irvin Photo taken by Mandy Irvin
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PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

Fire departments in Phenix City arrived just in time to prevent a major disaster.  Everyone living near the Faye Lane address was in danger.

Smoke could be seen for miles rising over the Phenix City neighborhood just before 1 p.m. Wednesday. Local school bus driver Mandy Irvin was passing by the address when the fire first began and she stopped to help.  She took photos right after she and a police officer used bolt cutters to help chickens escape from the locked burning shed.  Because they risked their lives, all but two of the birds survived.

 "When I went up there, the chickens were all out running in the yard and I thought that was a blessing because that's how he makes his money – he sells the eggs," said neighbor Sheila Brown.

But as firefighters soon discovered, a much more alarming issue was at stake - the flames were getting dangerously close to setting off a large propane tank.

 "We got on scene and this is what we found. it was a shed that was fully involved when we got here. He had a water hose out when we got here trying to put it out himself. We have a propane tank that is still off-gassing at this time.  We called a local propane company to see if they could help us out with it," said Ladonia assistant fire chief David Martin.

"I did not know the propane tank was behind the chicken coop until I got up there and everybody was like, you need to get away, the propane tank's fixing to blow up," said Brown.

Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control before the resident's home suffered major damage, but the shed was completely destroyed.

"It was a scary sight to see, especially when you know the people. It was really close to home," said Brown.

The residents escaped their house unharmed and no people were injured during this incident.  Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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