A house on Heads Ferry Road erupted into fire just after 2:00 p.m. Monday afternoon, claiming the life of one occupant.
The body of a 64-year-old woman who was renting the property was located inside of the house by emergency crews after a search, according to Habersham County Emergency Services and the Georgia Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner's Office. Identification is pending and it could take a couple of days before the person’s identity is released, says Emergency Services Director Chad Black.
It took crews totaling nearly twenty people over two hours to extinguish the blaze which had nearly fully engulfed the house when units first arrived on scene.
“When our units arrived along with Demorest Fire, LACI and Baldwin Fire, they found a large two-story river home [with] heavy fire throughout the structure, about 80-90% involved,” Black said
Because of the location of the two-story, 4,367-foot home, fire personnel had a difficult time getting close to the structure and had to operate mostly in a defensive mode to put out the fire.
“We were unable to get trucks up close to the residence so it took a lot of manpower,” Black said. “Luckily, we did have a hydrant that had been put in a resident’s yard next door so we were able to obtain a positive water supply.”
Even then, Black said crews had to lay hand lines of several hundred feet in order to get water on the fire.
Emergency Services and the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner is being assisted by the State Fire Marshal’s Office in the ongoing investigation. Officials say foul play is not suspected.