A well-known City of Thomson employee was injured while trying to battle a fire at his home last Tuesday night, a fire official said.
Fortunately, Ronald "Julio" Nickles, his wife, Diana and their two children, Kaylen and Paul, were able to escape unharmed other than Mr. Nickles having badly sprained one of his ankles.
Mr. Nickles is the chief mechanic for the City of Thomson and is a member of the Thomson Shrine Club. He was taken by private vehicle to Doctor's Hospital for his injury, according to McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services Assistant Chief Stephen Sewell. He was treated and later released.
The injury occurred after fire broke out in the chimney of Mr. and Mrs. Nichols' doublewide mobile home, located at 3619 Stagecoach Road, Assistant Chief Sewell said. The fire official said 31 firefighters battled the fire, which was discovered in the roof of the home.
"It was difficult to get to the fire because of where it was located," Assistant Chief Sewell said, noting that firefighters had to tear into the ceiling and sheetrock in their attempt to extinguish it. "It kept us busy for a good period of time."
The cause of the fire was listed as accidental.
Although the family lost their home, many of their possessions were salvaged. They also have moved to a temporary home in Thomson.
Mr. and Mrs. Nickles have two daughters.
A fund to help the family has been set up at Queensborough National Bank & Trust in Thomson.