When Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services and the Canton Fire Department were called out, Heath King was one of the firefighters sent to respond to the fire, knowing it was the house of Lavelle Hisaw Dover, his wife’s grandmother.
When firefighters arrived, smoke and flames were coming from the brick structure.
“The majority of the fire damage was confined to the utility room, living room and garage,” said Tim Cavender, Public Information Officer for the Cherokee County Fire Services.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated, he said.
When asked if firefighters train for incidents that involve family members or close friends, Cavender said they’re trained to “fight that fire like any other.”
“The firefighters go through extensive training. If there is someone in the house that they may know, the incident commander will determine if they are physically or mentally stable to go in,” Cavender said. “If not, they will give them other responsibilities. We do have a chaplain team that will come out and assist us in a situation if needed.”
While Dover only received minor injuries while escaping the house, some of her cats perished in the fire, Cavender said.
The American Red Cross was called to assist the family.
The family has received an outpouring of support from the community since the fire, and family members have said they are appreciative of the donations coming in.
“Thanks to the many firefighters, neighbors, friends, family and even strangers for their assistance in the aftermath of the devastating fire at my home last week,” Dover said in a statement released by a family member on Facebook. “I have been overwhelmed with the generous donations of clothes, gift cards, personal items, etc. My deepest, heartfelt thanks go to all of you who have offered support, encouragement and prayers as I move forward.”
Those who want to give a donation in support of Dover can send it to: Mrs. Lavelle Dover ℅ Dwayne & Antjuan Dover, 151 Old Pioneer Trail, Canton, GA 30115.