Fire on 165 stops short of houses

Quick work by three Russell County volunteer fire departments and the Alabama Forestry Commission kept a brush fire along Alabama 165 from spreading to several homes in the area.

About 3 p.m. Thursday, more than a dozen firefighters from departments in Mt. Olive, Fort Mitchell and Ladonia responded to the fire about two miles from down 165.

"It could have been bad," Fort Mitchell Chief Bob Franklin said.

The fire was contained in less than 30 minutes and homes along 165 and Stephens Loop were spared. The call was in the Mt. Olive coverage area, but a group of Fort Mitchell firefighters were at the station about five miles south of the fire when the call came.

"We figured we would ease on down here because they could probably use the help," Franklin said.

Two Forestry Commission rangers responded with a bulldozer and cut a 300-yard fire line that helped keep the blaze off of nearby houses. It burned about five acres. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

"The call came in as a controlled burn that got out of hand," Franklin said.

One homeowner, Charles Hollowell of 249 Alabama 165, got to his house after firefighters had stopped the fire. A portion of his backyard was burned.