COVINGTON -- The Newton County Fire Service reports a busy Memorial Day weekend with a total of 68 calls beginning Friday afternoon and continuing through Monday.
According to Chief Kevin O'Brien, the calls included 38 medical/EMS emergencies, seven structure fires, 13 brush fires, eight accidents with injuries and two in the category of other/agency assist calls.
"Of the seven structure fire calls, three of these responses were to locations where our first arriving units found all the structures fully involved," O'Brien said in a printed release. "The first one occurred on Saturday night at 1 a.m. Crews arrived within five minutes of dispatch to find the house located on Cornish Mountain Road fully involved."
O'Brien said NCFS received help from the Covington Fire Department and together they initiated a defensive operation and water shuffle, adding that the closest hydrant to this structure is approximately 1- miles away.
"Residents of this property were out of town for the holiday weekend. This 10,000-square-foot home was a total loss with property and contents," he said.
O'Brien said just as units were cleaning up from fighting the Cornish Mountain Road fire, they were called to another house fire on Harville Road, also fully involved by the time units arrived on the scene. Homeowners were also out of town when the fire began.
"A defensive operation was initiated and exposure protection was completed," he said. "This 1,200-square-foot house and contents were a total loss."
The third fire was on Veal Road and began Sunday around 12:45 p.m. O'Brien said again the structure was fully involved when the first firefighters arrived and residents were in town, but had left to go shopping. That structure, too, was a total loss.