GUN BARREL CITY, Texas (KLTV) - Gun Barrel City’s Street Department built a road, so firefighters from several Cedar Creek Lake-area volunteer firefighters could get to a house fire in a heavily wooded part of the town on Monday.
Although the house was a total loss, fire crews kept the blaze from spreading.
The Gun Barrel City Fire Department Facebook page had a post with a press release about the fire Thursday night.
According to the Facebook post, the Gun Barrel City Fire Department responded to a fire at an abandoned house at about 12: 58 a.m. on Monday. The structure was in a heavily wooded area behind the Denny’s restaurant located at 1015 West Main Street and bordered by Welch Lane and Pleasure Land Road.
It turned out that the fire was in an area that was inaccessible to Gun Barrel City’s fire trucks.
“This fire was exceptionally hard to fight due to the location of the house in the woods and the soft terrain,” Gun Barrel City Fire Chief Joseph Lindaman said in the press release. “We had to adjust our tactics to stop a large house fire without the use of the fire engines in close proximity like we typically do on a house fire. Instead, we used fire brush trucks that are designed for fighting grass fires in remote areas.”
The old driveway to the house was overgrown and narrow, and it had a small creek running through it, the press release stated. As a result, it was difficult and time consuming for the brush trucks to get to the scene of the fire.
“The Gun Barrel City Street Department responded with manpower, equipment, and road improvement materials,” the press release stated. “They created a road back to the fire that allowed the fire brush trucks to get back and forth.”
At that point, the Gun Barrel City Fire Department requested assistance from other area fire departments. The Payne Springs, Seven Points, and Mabank volunteer fire departments all responded with brush trucks.
“With the road in place by the Street Department and the arrival of the fire brush trucks from the other agencies, we were able to establish a water shuttle operation,” Lindaman said. “We staged Gun Barrel City Fire Department Tanker 1 in the parking lot of Denny’s.”
Lindaman added that when the brush trucks ran out of water, they would drive out of the woods and get water from the tanker.
Because the house was made of brick, it was a hazard to the firefighters, the press release stated. As the old house burned down, the walls became unstable.
Street Department employees used a backhoe to knock down the house’s walls. The backhoe was also used to create a firebreak between the house and the surrounding woods, the press release stated.
Eventually, the blaze burned itself out after fire crews battled it for five hours.
“I would like to thank Payne Springs, Seven Points and Mabank Fire Departments for responding to our mutual aid request,” Lindaman said. “I also want to thank the Gun Barrel City Street Department. Without their help, fighting the fire would have been much more difficult and dangerous.”
The house was a total loss, and the cause of the fire is under investigation by the Henderson County Fire Marshal’s Office.