People from all over Decatur County and Southwest Georgia came together in the aftermath of an explosion and fire at a chemical holding tank in Bainbridge on Wednesday.
About 10-15 homes had to be evacuated from a neighborhood in West Bainbridge located near Butler Ferry Road. Those residents were briefly allowed to go back home and retrieve some belongings on Wednesday night before they had to leave again as a safety precaution.
Terry Stillman of the Environmental Protection Agency has given the approval for residents to return to their home following yesterday’s explosion at the Liquid Transfer Terminals in Bainbridge.
The Salvation Army of Bainbridge, located at 600 South Scott Street, graciously provided rooms at the Howard Johnson in Bainbridge and a pizza supper for the displaced residents affected by yesterday’s explosion. Salvation Army Director Stacy Warren said she was happy that assistance could be provided.
Area police and firefighters help respond to fire
There were a number of people from other law enforcement agencies and fire departments who arrived to help Bainbridge Public Safety.
The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office assigned several deputies, including some of whom who had been called in to work, to help control traffic. After the explosion, as the thick black smoke was still going up in the air, Sheriff’s deputies helped provide a key role in detouring vehicles away from a section of Spring Creek Road and Butler Ferry Road near the fire. Sheriff’s deputies also responded to 911 dispatches that came in while BPS officers were busy fighting the fire.
The Georgia State Patrol sent a helicopter from Perry, Ga., to survey the large fire from the air. Local officials who went up in the helicopter brought back aerial videos that helped firefighters on the ground. Troopers from four Southwest Georgia posts of the Georgia State Patrol also came to Bainbridge to help with traffic.
Decatur County EMS paramedics, some of whom were off-duty when the fire started, went to the scene to treat any firefighters that had trouble breathing or became overheated.
City of Bainbridge Public Works employees helped out where ever they could, doing everything from traffic control to supplying firefighters with food, water and supplies.
The long list of area fire departments who came to help out when there was a need included: Decatur County Fire and Rescue, volunteer firefighters from every station in Decatur County, the Cairo/Grady County fire departments, the Donalsonville fire department (which also brought a ladder truck), and the Thomas County Fire Department. The Miller County Fire Department brought one of its fire engines and stood by at Bainbridge Public Safety to respond to any other fires that may have broken out while BPS was busy battling the large fire.
Also providing assistance were the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office, the Grady County Sheriff’s Office, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and the Miller County Sheriff’s Office.
Local businesses, citizens show support for emergency responders
Note: If you helped out and your name isn’t on the list, it was not intentional. We are listing everyone we were told about. If you want to privately share how you helped, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will amend the list.
Bainbridge Public Works Director Steve Winburn and his employees brought Burger King hamburgers and water to feed some of the firefighters who were taking a break about an hour into the fire response.
Janice Lewis, Daytime Supervisor with Decatur-Grady 911, and Hannah Vulgamore with the Climax Fire Department prepared sandwiches at the fire scene for the firefighters to eat Wednesday evening, while they were still at the scene.
A number of local businesses and citizens donated food and water to Bainbridge Public Safety for use by emergency responders. Here are a few we heard about:
- Coca-Cola Bainbridge
- Sara Griffin / Little Brown Jug
- Inland / Southwest Georgia Oil
- Pepsi Bainbridge
- The Salvation Army – Bainbridge
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