Teamwork by firefighters from four departments and other first responders resulted in a quick save on a smoky blaze about 1 p.m. Tuesday in a house at 1485 Baileyton Road.
The house sustained extensive interior damage. The occupants were not injured. One dog died in the fire and another was revived by Greeneville firefighters using an oxygen-fed pet rescue mask.
The cause of the fire appears to be suspicious, a report by a sheriff’s deputy at the scene said.
The fire prompted the closure of a section of Baileyton Road as fire trucks from the Greenville Fire Department and the Tusculum, United and Mosheim volunteer fire departments staged at the scene just outside Greeneville city limits.
Greeneville fire Administrative Chief Marty Shelton was incident commander. Shelton is also chief of the Tusculum Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire origin was in a back bedroom of the brick ranch-style house owned by Gary Porter, a report by Deputy Thomas Culler said.
Sheriff’s Sgt. David Love, fire investigator, told a deputy “it appears that an accelerant was used,” a report said.
Homeowner Gary Porter Sr. told deputies he left the house about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. Another home occupant and a woman were arguing at the house about two hours before the fire started, a witness told deputies. The fire cause remains under investigation.
Shelton said the initial call came into 911 as a possible entrapment. Greeneville firefighters from Engine 1 arrived on scene first, found “thick smoke conditions” and did a primary search of the smoke-filled house.
No people were found inside, Shelton said.
“They contained the fire to the area of origin,” Shelton said.
During a secondary search of the house, a deceased dog was found in the bedroom where the fire started, Shelton said.
“A small dog perished in the bedroom,” Shelton said.
Found behind a couch was another dog that was brought outside and given oxygen with a pet mask. The dog was revived and is believed to have been taken to a veterinarian for a checkup afterwards, Shelton said.
Shelton thanked veterinarian Matt Quillen and the Animal Medical Center of Greeneville for donating pet masks now in use by the Greeneville Fire Department and most volunteer fire departments in the county.
“We pulled a pet out and cared for a pet. They immediately began putting oxygen on the pet,” Shelton said. “It was a successful outcome.”
Shelton praised Greene County 911 for efficient dispatching of four fire departments to the scene. He added that recent cooperative training exercises between the fire departments paid off at Tuesday’s fire.
“The four departments came together because of previous training they did,” Shelton said. “Everything went well yesterday. Everybody worked well together. The fire departments worked as one team.”
Also on scene were Greene County-Greeneville EMS, the Debusk Rehab Unit, Greeneville Light & Power and Bill Brown, director of the county Office of Emergency Management.