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Two homes burn Tuesday
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Two Newton County homes were severely damaged by fires Tuesday and ruled “complete losses” by fire officials, but no one was hurt in the blazes.

Homes on 131 Walnut Lane, Covington, and 115 Maple Leaf Drive, Oxford, were both said to be complete losses according to Newton County Fire Chief Kevin O’Brien.

The Walnut Lane home fire was actually called in by a UPS driver around 11:35 a.m., because the family was out of town for spring break. The cause remains unknown.

The 1,846-square-foot house, with a fully finished 1,385-square-foot basement was valued at $183,600 according to the Newton County Tax Assessor’s website. The home was built in 1973.

When crews arrived, they saw heavy smoke and flames from the back of the house; they made their initial attack against the fire, but the situation was completed by water supply issues, as the nearest hydrant was around 2,500 feet away, O’Brien said. Three fire trucks had to connect their hoses together to form a connection between the hydrant and the house.

Before forming the connection, each fire truck that arrives after the first one pumps its water to the truck actually fighting the fire, then the trucks moved into position to form a connection to the hydrant. O’Brien said some trucks can hold 750 gallons and others can hold 1,000 gallons.

O’Brien said the structure appeared to be a complete loss, but he did not yet know about the contents as he did not see the inside of the house. The Red Cross was notified to provide assistance to the family of four.

The call for the Maple Leaf Drive fire came in around 4 p.m. O’Brien said that house and its contents were a total loss. The 2,301-square-foot home, with a 2,001-square-foot unfinished basement was built in 2007 and valued at $137,600.

When units arrived, they saw heavy smoke and flames through the roof. The lone occupant, an older woman, managed to escape from the house.

Covington Fire and Walton County Fire units assisted with both fires.

Sunday fire on Hodges Circle
A 506-square-foot detached garage at 882 Hodges Circle caught fire Sunday evening around 9:14 p.m., and both it and the two cars inside were ruled total losses.

O’Brien said the garage was a fully-involved fire when units arrived and multiple trucks had to form a water shuttle to provide water to fight the fire, as the nearest hydrant was also located far away from the house.
The house itself sat a couple thousand feet off the road.

The home was built in 1997. The value of the garage and its contents was not immediately known.