GARRETT – An out building near a residence is considered to be a total loss after a fire broke out early Tuesday morning.

The Garrett Area Rural Volunteer Fire Department firefighters were dispatched to the 2000 block of Christian Road to combat the blaze.

“Basically there was a shop/apartment structure that was behind the residence there. The homeowner was in the front office section and apparently he smelled some smoke,” said Capt. Kameron Raburn, Garrett Area Rural Volunteer Fire Department. “I believe that he went outside and looked and saw that the whole middle portion of the structure was fully involved. He said that he had smelled it around 5:50 a.m. and called 9-1-1.”

The resident attempted to put the fire out by using a water hose, Raburn said. When Garrett Firefighters arrived on scene, they called the Palmer and Bristol Fire Departments for assistance with water tankers and the Ennis Fire Department for additional personnel.

“The biggest problem with putting out a structure fire when ever you are out in a rural area is obviously that you have a very limited water supply. We don’t have any fire hydrants or anything out there,” Raburn said. “So we were stuck with what little water we had. We had to use it rationally so that we could wait for Bristol and Palmer to shuttle water to us. That is one of the reasons why it took so long to bring it under control.”

The outbuilding was in close proximity to the residential structure and firefighters were afraid the fire might spread, Raburn said.

“We got to a point where we had a limited amount of water. We only had 200 gallons of water or so left. We stopped spraying water incase the house caught on fire because they were very close to each other,” Raburn said. “We were definitely worried about it spreading over to the house. We managed to keep the house cooled off and there was no damage to the living quarters.”

The main body of fire was extinguished within about an hour of firefighters arriving on the scene. No injuries were reported from the resident or firefighters working the call. Two Garrett firefighters along with an engine remained on scene after other units cleared to extinguish any fire that might rekindle.

The cause of the fire has not been determined at this time and is under investigation by Ellis County Fire Marshal Tim Birdwell. The outbuilding is considered to be a total loss.

Raburn advises residents to have working smoke detectors in their homes and to change the batteries regular to get their a proper warning if a fire were to break out.


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