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Firefighter crashes into house on way to fire

Jul. 30, 2013 @ 11:30 PM

SALT ROCK -- A double-wide mobile home caught fire Tuesday morning in Salt Rock, damaging the residence and setting the stage for a vehicle accident that involved a junior firefighter on his way to the fire.

Dispatchers received word of the residential fire at 5:51 a.m. in the 5400 block of Guyan River Road. Flames gutted the home, leaving it a total loss. No injuries were reported, as the homeowner was out of state at the time.

Within minutes of the call, dispatchers received word of a vehicle crash involving a pickup truck that drove into another home's porch. It happened at 6 a.m. in the 5400 block of W.Va. 10.

The Cabell County Sheriff's Office identified the crash victim as Tyler Bailey, 16, of Salt Rock. He is a junior firefighter on the Salt Rock Volunteer Fire Department, according to the agency's chief, Darrell Ennis.

Cabell County Chief Deputy Doug Ferguson said Bailey told investigators he was en route to the fire station. That's when he swerved to miss another vehicle, lost control and left the roadway, crashing into the home's porch. No citation was issued and the incident remains under investigation, Ferguson said.

Ennis said the crash happened close to Bailey's home. He had not received a full report on the accident as of late afternoon Tuesday, but said preliminary information indicates Bailey was acting within the fire department's protocol. He promised a full review.

Bailey's vehicle was not equipped with any emergency lights or siren as such equipment is not allowed for members his age, Ennis said. The chief explained junior firefighters cannot ride on fire apparatus, instead they drive to the station before catching a ride to the scene in a colleague's private vehicle.

An investigation also continues into the cause of Tuesday's house fire, although Ennis said initial reports indicate it was accidental.

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