Blaze sends eight to hospital
By Larry Cavender
Tragedy struck a northeastern Cherokee County family on Tuesday night, March 13th, when their home was totally destroyed by fire. The Franklin Gold Mine Road fire left eight members of the family injured, including three adults and five children. Two of the children remain in critical but stable condition early this week.
According to a Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services press release, Cherokee County 911 received a call from a neighbor reporting the house next door was on fire. Shortly after 11 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to the scene. Squad 4 from the Free Home Fire Station was the first to arrive on the scene and reported that the one story wooden structure was "fully involved."
Support Services Division Chief Danny West reported, "The first arriving units encountered a heavily fire-involved structure and multiple injured victims. A total of eight victims were transported to hospitals...where they were treated for burns and smoke inhalation ranging from minor to critical injuries."
Tim Cavender, Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services Public Information officer, confirmed the most critically injured were two children, including the youngest of the children, an 18-month old male, as well as the oldest child, an eight-year-old male. The youngest suffered second degree burns over the majority of his body and will have to undergo skin grafts while the eldest suffered burns and smoke inhalation including possible brain trauma.
Despite the possible brain injury, the eight-year old was reported to be responsive to the commands of a doctor. Both of these children were transported to the Grady Burn Center in Atlanta where they remain.
The other three children, including two females and one male, were transported to Eggleston Hospital in Atlanta from Northside Hospital Cherokee in Canton where they were first treated. The three adults, including the mother of the children, a grandmother, and another relative, were all treated at Northside Hospital Cherokee.
Cherokee County Fire Investigator Shane Daniel, stated the cause of the fire was undetermined at this time, but the investigation continues. PIO Cavender reported the investigation is being hampered by the difficulty in obtaining witness interviews from the injured family members.
Firefighters from Forsyth County also assisted in the call.