COVINGTON — A house fire caused morning rush hour traffic to be snarled Thursday on Ga. Highway 212, near the Rockdale County line.
Newton County Fire Service Chief Mike Satterfield said his men were fighting a fire at 7245 Ga. Highway 212 from about 3:20 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. The house was occupied by a woman who escaped without injury, Satterfield said.
“When the first unit arrived, they said it was heavily involved with fire. We consider it a total loss. It was heavily damaged and most walls were burned up,” the chief said.
Investigators are searching through the debris to determine the cause of the fire.
Satterfield said the highway was blocked due to the fire hydrant being located on the other side of the road from the house.
“We had to lay the hose across the road and it’s a 5-inch hose. That will stop your traffic pretty quick,” he said.
Satterfield said firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby wooded and grassy areas.
“It was a good thing we had a hydrant there so we had plenty of water,” he said.
In other public safety news, Darnell Curtell Nolley, 23, of 505 Womack Road, has been arrested in connection with a home invasion that occurred sometime between March 28 and March 30.
Nolley has been charged with armed robbery, intimidation, taking a controlled substance, Georgia Street Gang Terrorism Act, possession of a firearm or knife while trying to commit crimes and aggravated assault.
According to Newton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Keith Crum, the victims of the home invasion were three teens who were at a home on Shiver Boulevard. They heard a knock on the door and when they opened it, three intruders forcibly entered the house with a weapon. They took money, drugs and electronics.
A 16-year-old was recognized as a school mate and was arrested and charged.
Also, a 50-year-old Newton County man has been arrested and charged with rape.
James Tabor Hill of 302 McGiboney Road was charged in connection with an incident that allegedly occurred Sept. 1 at his home.
Crum said the victim was an acquaintance of Hill’s whom he knew from church.
“They had a social meeting and there were allegations that a drink may have been doctored,” Crum said. “The rape occurred without the victim’s consent or knowledge.”
Crum said NCSO investigators looked into the allegations and “believed that the crime had occurred and that the suspect committed the crime and he was arrested.”