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Fire damages interior of Johns Mountain wildlife check station

June 11, 2018 GMT

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Game Management personnel are trying to figure out what to do about their Johns Mountain check station, which sustained significant interior damage during a fire.

Mary Catherine Chewning, an investigator in the local Fire marshal’s office, said the job done by station eight firefighters in Armuchee was remarkable to save the structure.

“Considering the distance they had to go to get up there, it was amazing the job they were able to do,” Chewning said.

The blaze is thought to have erupted from a radiant heater in the wall of the building around mid-day on May 31. The flames tracked along the electrical conduit into the ceiling, causing extensive damage to the roofing and insulation. That is where the damage was contained for the most part and is visible from outside the building only at a few window frames. Firefighters were on the scene for about three hours.

The property is owned by the Girl Scouts, who have leased the small cabin on a five-acre tract at the corner of Everett Springs Road. The DNR leases the property for $1,000 a year. Northwest Region Supervisor Chuck Waters said that’s been the case for as long as he can remember.

DNR personnel have cleaned out the building and are awaiting insurance adjustors before making any decision as to what they’ll do next. Waters said he’s not sure how much the state is willing to put out for property that they do not actually own. The state did not own any other property in the area when the lease with the Girl Scouts was initially signed however it has acquired considerable acreage in that vicinity over the years.

“If we’re not able to cobble something together, we’ll operate out of the shed that is there and pickup trucks to check in deer,” Waters said. “We’ll still be able to operate one way or another.”