Firefighters with the Ringgold Volunteer Fire and Rescue squad responded for the third time in a little more than 24 hours to a fire in the 200 block of Wilkerson Road Monday afternoon.
The fire initially sparked around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, crews then responded again later that day, and once more when the fire rekindled Monday around noon.
An apartment fire in Ringgold, va that displaced about 12 people Sunday morning has flared up again. The fire chief says this is their 3rd time out here putting water on the structure @WFXRnews pic.twitter.com/VP63XPOBWr— Eric Pointer WFXR (@EricPointerWFXR) November 26, 2018
Two people suffered minor injuries and multiple apartments were damaged.
The Red Cross is helping families who lost everything in the fire, including Bobby Mullins’ family.
Mullins says Sunday morning everything he and his family owned went up in flames. Another apartment in his building caught fire, and he says he tried to help put it out.
“When I came out of my house I was in my draws, Sir. And when I left there, I had on my daughter’s pink pajamas. So that tells you what I’ve gone through,” said Mullins.
Unfortunately, he was powerless against the fire.
“I just sat there and watched my house burn. And I basically lost everything. If it wasn’t for social media, like getting it out on Facebook and all this other stuff, I wouldn’t have these clothes I’m wearing now.”
It took about 50 firefighters from 6 different departments around 11 hours to put out the flames, according to Ringgold Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Neal.
The fire chief says Sunday night they pumped 17,000 gallons of water on the fire and still had to come out again. They dropped an additional 3,00 gallons on Monday
“We’ve had some bigger but in the last few years this has got to be in the top five as far as the size of the fire and the difficulty of trying to put it out.”
One issue the fire department ran into was this, the main road leading up to the apartment was washed out by Hurricane Michael and it caused a delay for some of the trucks to get there.
“We basically had to come through an alternate road that goes into a dead end and then you’re on a pig path, I call it, through the woods through people’s backyards just to get here to come in through the backside. So that hurt us the first night. We had about a 5-6 minute delay,” Chief Neal said.
The cause is still under investigation.