Shady Grove fire

Firefighter Dustin Beland hoses down flames as Jesse James, left, and Shady Grove Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Hodge look on at a house fire on Lewis Johnson Road. A family of six lost everything in the blaze. One firefighter had the roof collapse on him, but he was OK. (Photo by Mark Thornton)


A family of six lost their home in a fire that wiped out years of work and priceless items that can’t be replaced.

“I poured my heart and soul into that place,” said David Reddoch, his eyes red from smoke and tears Wednesday evening as firefighters from several departments battled the flames at his home on Lewis Johnson Road in the Shady Grove Community. 

Reddoch and his wife Marketta had lived there for 18 years. The residence was a double-wide manufactured home with a two-story addition.

“I’ve been working on it myself for 5-1/2 years,” he said, adding that wood from his great-great-grandfather’s homeplace was used in some of the renovation.

Son Donnie Murphy, 18, and his girlfriend, along with 16-year-old daughter Madison and 11-year-old son Hudson also lived in the house with them.

The Reddochs reportedly pulled up to their home around 5:15 p.m. when they saw an ATV parked near the rear of the home on fire and the flames spreading to the structure.

When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting out of the home, said Shady Grove Fire Chief Mike Hodge, who was incident commander.

“We immediately initiated an interior attack,” he said, but fighting the fire was complicated by the fact that there was a tin roof on the home. “It’s like fighting a fire inside an oven.”

One volunteer firefighter, Steve Crawford, had to be transported by EMServ Ambulance to the hospital because the roof collapsed on him. He was going to be OK, Hodge said. Reddoch also had to be treated on the scene for smoke inhalation or heat exhaustion, but he was not transported.

Along with Shady Grove, volunteers from Sharon, Calhoun, Sandersville, Soso and Powers also responded along with the Jones County Emergency Management Agency. Tanker trucks from the VFDs shuttled water to the scene.

Reddoch works offshore and his wife had just finished school to become a nail technician. They have insurance, they said, but it won’t replace the sentimental items they’ve lost, he said.

“I lost all of my nail-tech stuff in there,” she said, pointing at the burning home. “We’ve been going through some tough times lately.”

— PIO Dana Bumgardner/Jones County Fire Council contributed


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