Hanceville Fire Chief: J.B. Pennington fire finally out

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W.C. Mann

The scene on Tuesday morning

HANCEVILLE – In a phone call to Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail around 6 p.m. Thursday evening, Hanceville Fire Department (HFD) Chief Roger Green announced that the fire that started early Tuesday morning at J.B. Pennington High School in Blountsville is officially out.  Firefighters from multiple departments worked to contain and extinguish the fire for two and a half days.  The HFD played a crucial role from Tuesday morning on, providing crews with a ladder truck that could reach the peak of the school building’s roof; and setting up a relief trailer where firefighters could cool off, get refreshments provided by the Red Cross and get checked by Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

The fire started in the area of the school library and media room, and burned up through the attic to the roof, where five layers of plywood shielded top and bottom by sheet metal continued to burn.  Due to concerns about the structural integrity of the roof, firefighters were pulled off the roof after a short time.  Instead, they cut away portions of the metal shell, and soaked as much of the wood as they could, with the intent of keeping the fire contained until it could burn itself out.

Crews used the ladder truck all three days, and according to Nail, at least four Hanceville firefighters were on the scene at all times with the truck.

The school library and media room were destroyed in the fire, and much of the rest of the main building suffered heavy smoke and water damage.  Several inches of water stood in places, and was reported as being waist-deep in the school’s basement.

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