A fire in Houston County on Saturday night seriously injured two men.
Houston County Fire Chief Jimmy Williams said the men were life flighted to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta. He identified the victims as Joshua Hollingsworth, 35, and Stewart Hall, 54. Hollingsworth lived at the residence and Hall is from Warner Robins. Both were listed in critical condition by the burn center Sunday afternoon.
Williams said preliminary indications were that Hall suffered burns over 80 percent of his body but that was not confirmed by the burn center. Hollingsworth had burns to his airway as a result of smoke and heat inhalation.
The fire happened at about 8:30 p.m. at 924 Collins Ave. near Centerville. The Centerville Fire Department assisted.
Williams said firefighters were at the scene until past midnight. But at 6:43 a.m. on Sunday they were called back when a neighbor spotted flames. Williams said he didn’t know yet if the original fire flared back up or if something else happened. The original fire was in the garage, which was destroyed, but the double-wide mobile home was fine, Williams said. The home was destroyed in the second fire.
Hall had escaped the fire unharmed but went back into the garage to get the keys to his car and suffered the injuries, Williams said. The car was parked in front of the garage and Hall wanted to move it away from it, but as it turned out, the car suffered little damage. It was still there as firefighters battled the blaze Sunday morning.
The two men were doing some type of work in the garage when the original fire started, Williams said. He wasn’t sure whether the fire started as a result of the work being done. A female was in the house and escaped unharmed.
Williams said he did not believe anything more could have been done to prevent the second fire. He said the original fire was brought under control within about 20 minutes, but firefighters remained at the scene until approximately 1 a.m. He said they went through the structure with a thermal imaging camera and it did not detect any hot spots.
“We exhausted everything we could do,” he said. “Sometimes it just doesn’t show itself until it wants to.”
Eric Godt, who lives across from the home, is an animal control officer in Perry. He said he helped firefighters resuscitate a cat that was unconscious as a result of the blaze. Godt said he was on his way to work Sunday when he saw the second blaze and called 911.