MESENA, Ga. -- A man and his two children are now living with relatives after fire raced through a rented dwelling they called home in the Mesena neighborhood of Warren County last Friday afternoon.
More than 30 firefighters from both Warren and McDuffie counties battled flames, which eventually spread to the outside of the home.
Smoke could be seen from several miles away.
No one was home at the time of the blaze, which reportedly broke out about 3:30 p.m., according to Warren County Fire/Rescue Services Chief Tommy Wolfe.
Aside from trying to extinguish the fire, another concern involved hot weather conditions.
Temperatures already had climbed into the triple digits by the time firefighters arrived and began putting on their turn-out gear to battle the fire. The heat index was 108 degrees at the time.
"We watched everyone carefully, making sure no one got too hot," Chief Wolfe said. "We had a couple of close calls, but once we got them cooled down, they got ok."
Firefighters from McDuffie County, who responded to the automatic-aide call, set up a cooling tent for those who battled the fire.
"That seemed to help a lot and we appreciated it," Chief Wolfe said.
The fire is believed to have broken out from around an electrical panel box located in the kitchen, the fire chief said. Flames later spread to the rest of the house and got into the attic, too.
Chief Wolfe said the fire had been ruled accidental.
The house, co-owned by Allen Johnson and Greg Harden, had been home to Robert James Jones, his daughter, Shawana Walker and his son, Casey Walker for the past year.
The family reportedly is now living with relatives.