Originally created 12/30/00

Fire ruins Martinez residence



A fire at a one-patient personal care home in Martinez on Friday injured no one, but it left the private residence completely burned to the foundation.

The blaze at 811 B Furys Ferry Road home, which is located about a quarter-mile back in the woods, was first reported at 1:20 p.m. by a resident of the nearby Jones Creek subdivision, said Martinez Fire Department Battalion Chief Danny Kuhlmann.

Firefighters also noticed the smoke from their Furys Ferry Road station and responded.

"When we arrived, we found the house fully engulfed in flames," Chief Kuhlmann said.

Deputies said smoke from the fire could be seen as far away as Belair Road at Interstate 20. All that remained of the home was its smoldering brick-skeleton foundation, surrounded by a charred basketball goal and several singed shrubs.

Five people - including the personal care patient - lived in the home, which is owned by Mary Lou Sullivan, said Chief Kuhlmann. None were at home during the fire and arrived back about an hour after 15 firefighters began extinguishing the flames.

Chief Kuhlmann said Friday it was too early to determine a cause of the blaze without an investigation. But he said he had often visited the home to inspect it as a personal care home and always found it in a safe condition, with more than enough fire alarms.

At the scene, a tearful Mrs. Sullivan surveyed the destruction with disbelief while being consoled by firefighters and family.

"I don't know what to even think about it," she said.

Chief Kuhlmann said with the house a total loss, the Sullivan family will now need their community's support.

"I'm sure they're going to need everything they can get," he said.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 110.