WEST FORSYTH – Forsyth County firefighters found smoke pouring from a house near West Forsyth High School after responding to calls about a structure fire shortly after 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
The home, which is located on Doubletree Court just off of Drew Road in West Forsyth, sustained complete damage to its garage and additional water, smoke and some fire damage to its top floors.
A family of four – two adults and their two children – and a dog live at the residence, but all were out of the house at the time of the fire, according to Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers.
It was not immediately known how old the children are, though one neighbor said they are middle-school age or younger.
“I can’t say yet where the fire started, but the garage is heavily damaged and the upstairs bedrooms and the living space immediately above the garage have heavy damage,” Shivers said.
Four engine companies and one ladder truck – about 26 personnel – responded to the fire, as well Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputies and Central Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
An investigator was also on scene.
“It’s already under investigation,” Shivers said. “It was an early call because we didn’t have any witnesses to tell us how it was started.”
Neighbors reportedly saw flames and called 911, bystanders said.
“We’ll be working now for the next several hours doing what we call salvage and overhaul,” said Shivers as smoke still wafted across neighborhood Thursday afternoon. “That means we salvage the property as best we can and overhaul the structure, [looking] for anywhere the fire is hiding, get that down to the bare wood and flood it with water and keep the area as wet as you can so you don’t run the risk of a rekindle coming back.”
Due to the damage, the family has been displaced, he said.
Shivers added the fire department will assess what the family needs moving forward.
“We always want to do what we can to help families as much as we can,” he said. “A lot of it will depend on what their needs are and whether they have family, friends, church members … whatever the case is, we’ll put in the help to assist them.”
The department holds an annual toy drive – Ariel’s House – to aid children around Christmas.
It was not immediately known what the family will need.
A section of Drew Road from Carramore Drive to close to West Forsyth High School was closed for a few hours as crews worked the scene.