First responders to DeRenne fire recount the deadly scene

SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – We’re hearing more from first responders on the scene of the deadly gas station fire.

“Before I could even get dispatch, I flipped my lights and sirens on and headed that way.”

Captain Doug Struble along with nine other Southside Fire and EMS personnel answered the call to the gas station fire on DeRenne Avenue and Bull street.

“When they got on scene, we could tell just by the voice coming over the radio how intense it was, he’s making sure that everybody stayed back because we didn’t know it would explode,” Cpt. Struble adds.

The fire claimed the life of 87 year old James Lester. Gas station surveillance video shows his Chevy blazer colliding with the gas pump moments after being involved in another crash.

“I’m so sorry for the family who lost their loved one but thankfully nobody else was injured like I said those guys at Savannah fire attacked that with a vengeance and it was contained probably within ten to fifteen minutes,” says the captain.

Captain Struble has served as a medic for twelve years with Southisde Fire and EMS. He relates the DeRenne fire to the sugar refinery explosion.

“I was trying to make sure that I was covered because we didn’t know if it was going to blow again and last thing we want to see is anybody trying to help get injured.”

Amazingly only two people rescued from inside the gas station suffered injuries.

“Training is crucial and these people put their training to the true test today.”

Thanks to that training Savannah fire and Southside Fire & EMS did not report any injuries among their ranks during this deadly fire.

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