AFD answers East Albany fire calls

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- A transformer blowout resulted in a garage being completely destroyed in East Albany Wednesday afternoon.

The Albany Fire Department was called to the 500 block of Henson Drive at about 12:45 p.m. in reference to a storage area on fire.

Larry Clark, the owner of the property, told an Albany Herald reporter that a transformer on a pole in his neighbor's front yard blew out, causing a spark to go through a power line and fall down on his garage, which was located in a separate building behind Clark's house.

Clark, who currently lives on the 600 block of Henson, bought the property in April and is preparing to move into the home on June 2. There was nothing in the garage when it caught fire.

While the owner didn't lose any personal possessions in the fire, the loss of the building he was going to use as both a garage and a storage shed does come at a steep price for him.

"It will be roughly $20,000 to build a new building," Clark said. "I'm a little bummed out. Now I have to get a building to move in things that I can't move into the house."

Clark heard that the garage had caught fire when he got a call from his wife, Diane Gillette-Clark, while he was at work at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.

Gillette-Clark was walking down the street with a friend to show off the house at around the time the transformer blew.

"We don't have anything moved in yet, but I said 'Please God, don't let my house burn down,'" she said. "Thank God it didn't happen on June 2 because we would have been in the house."

There was someone in the house putting in drywall in anticipation of the Clarks moving in. He was not injured in the incident.

In an unrelated incident, the AFD was called to 1963 S. Riverview Circle at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in reference to another fire that left four people homeless.

Battalion Chief A.L. Dyler said a teenager was in the apartment cooking, which eventually led to a grease fire.

There was fire and smoke damage throughout the unit. Luckily, it left the other unit in the duplex relatively untouched.

"(The AFD crews) did a good job of making sure it didn't spread to the other unit," Dyler said.

The occupants made it out safely and were able to call the fire department from another location. The American Red Cross is expected to come to the aid of the displaced family.