Man who fought mill fire hospitalized

An Augusta firefighter remained hospitalized Tuesday after being injured during a weekend blaze that gutted the Southern Milling Co. building on Twiggs Street.

Lt. Jay Jones was pinned beneath a "deck gun" water cannon and its 1,000-gallon-per-minute pressure stream after the device tipped over, Chief Howard Willis said.

A fellow firefighter, Lt. William Dickerson, was beside Lt. Jones and helped pull the machine off him, enabling him to escape from the stream of water.

"The pump operator shut the line down and the rescue units came running over there, but William Dickerson was right there beside him," Chief Willis said.

Lt. Jones, who was knocked unconscious, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital with deep cuts and a broken leg, ankle and collarbone. He was later transferred to Doctors Hospital, said his wife, Sheryl Jones.

"He has four or five months of recovery ahead of him," Mrs. Jones said. "But if it wasn't for Lt. Dickerson, my husband would not be here today."

Firefighters are like brothers, she said.

"He risked his life to save my husband; that's just the way they are," she said.

The cause of Friday night's blaze remains under investigation, Chief Willis said.

Reach Rob Pavey at 868-1222, ext. 119, or rob.pavey@augustachronicle.com.