Blaze Destroys Columbia Firefighter's Home - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Blaze Destroys Columbia Firefighter's Home

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Fires can be devastating, especially during the holidays. No one knows that more than a Columbia firefighter who responded to a call early Friday morning only to learn that it was his house up in flames.

After 12 years of being a firefighter, seeing a charred house is an unfortunate part of Josh Wall's job.

"[The] couches, all that's gone. [The] Christmas tree [is] gone. [The] presents [are] gone," Wall told NewsChannel5.

Fellow firefighter Will Craft said when he arrived on scene the house was fully engulfed in flames.

"The whole left side of his house, his car port, both of his vehicles, flames were shooting ten/fifteen feet high," said Craft.

Each firefighter hopes, they pray that the emergency call they respond to every day, never personally impacts them.

"Halfway on our way here [Wall] realized that this was his house," Craft said.

"Yeah it [gave] me that sick feeling," Wall said.

Around midnight, Wall's wife and three children were all asleep at home. The dogs started barking, alerting his wife that there was a fire.

"She got out of bed, went to window, and saw there was a fire on the carport," Wall said. "By the time she got back, got the kids out of bed, got out in the yard the fire had advanced into the house."

The first firefighters arrived almost immediately. Wall was there minutes later, ready to work.

"There's no sense in me standing in the yard watching," Wall said. "I needed to do my job too."

The job quickly became far from routine.

"We work hard when it's anybody's house, but when it's one of our employees we put some special, more care into it just because it's our guy," Craft said. "It's our buddy."

Hours later, the firefighters were being called on in a new way, for support.

"[I'm] just blessed that my family is okay, and I still got my three kids and wife," Wall said.

The house was a total loss.

Wall said his family would stay with family. The community has been rallying around Wall and his family, by providing donations, which can be taken to Fire Station 1 on South Garden Street in Columbia.

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