Man rescued from fire Wednesday night

Published 11:42 pm Thursday, May 14, 2015

Selma has seen several fires in the last few months, and Wednesday night was no exception.

The Selma Fire Department received a call about a fire at approximately 9:12 p.m. Wednesday night at the Small Street Inn, 809 L.L Anderson Ave. When firefighters arrived on scene, they found William Packett inside the structure and managed to bring him to safety.

“There’s an apartment attached to this business, and there was somebody in there the structure when the fire department crews arrived on scene. They were successful in removing him from the residence,” said Selma Fire Chief Mike Stokes. “I do not have an update on his condition, but I do know he was transported to a local hospital.”

The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical extension cords, according to Stokes.

“It overloaded. Extension cords are not supposed to be used for permanent electrical supply, they’re only temporary,” he said.

Engine 3, Ladder 3, Engine 4, Engine 2 and the battalion chief on duty responded to the scene, according to Stokes. The fire was under control in about 15 minutes and the total time on scene was around two hours and 20 minutes.

Stokes said he was proud of his guys for their work and rescuing Packett, but his hopes is that the need for a rescue never occurs.

“Our hopes [is that] our public education, trying to explain to people fire prevention and we’ve got our statewide campaign “Turn Your Attention to Fire Prevention,” and that’s what we’re trying to get out is for people to recognize fire hazards within their home and within their businesses and eliminate those problems before we have to rescue somebody,” Stokes said. “I am proud of the guys for the efforts in the job that they do everyday. As a fire chief, I’m proud of the work that the men that work for the city of Selma, and work under me as the fire chief, do everyday, not just last night.”

Stokes said the damage caused to the structure was moderate to severe and he was unaware at this point what the owner plans to do.

“The citizens of Selma and Dallas County need to realize that the people they are intrusting their lives to and paying a salary to, do a lot of training. They do it every day. They’re not sitting around doing nothing, so they’re in a position to help when ever help is needed,” Stokes said. “It does make you feel good that you were successful.”