Sons of the American Revolution honor first responders

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BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – The Blue Ridge Mountain Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution paid homage to local firefighters, law enforcement, EMT, and EMS workers during the December Commission meeting.

Sid Turner presented three awards. The first the law enforcement commendation went to Lt. Leon James who serves the Union County Sheriff’s Office and primarily stationed at the courthouse. In 2017, he became the commanding officer of the courthouse law enforcement operation, assisted in implementing the security checkpoints, and wrote the safety plan. Later, Sheriff Mason chose James slow down traffic in Union County.

Lt. Brent Long received the firefighter safety commendation. Long’s served the fire department for 21 years, initially as a volunteer. In 2002, he became a full-time firefighter. He’s responsible for training the entire department and emergency medical services. He’s also the deputy director of emergency management.

Frank Lowery accepted the emergency services commendation. Lowery’s been with the Union County EMS since 2012 and “consistently delivers care to his patients at a high level.” In 2016, he was promoted to shift supervisor and performs training coordinator and quality assurance coordinator responsibilities. Lowery also received the Murray King award for outstanding service and dedication to the citizens of Union County.


Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris issued three proclamations during the December meeting, Retired Teacher’s Day on November 1, Arbor Day on February 9, and Radon Action Month in January.

Contracts and Grants

SPLOST funds were used to purchase a $478,873 fire engine/pumper for the fire department. Also, the county entered into two no cost contracts with debris removal services as required by FEMA.

Winkler and Winkler were awarded a $330,370.00 contract to upgrade the View Grill. SPLOST funds were used for this project.

To repair the roof at the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Jail to Roof Management were awarded $215,500.00 in SPLOST funds.

Two accountability court grants for the Enotah Family Treatment Court and health court were accepted.

The emergency moratorium on multi-family housing units was extended for another 190 days from October 8, 2020.


Pet store catches fire, everyone marked safe

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Pet City

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Everyone safely escaped from a midday fire on Tuesday, June 29, at Pet City USA on the Blue Ridge Hwy.

The blaze broke out around 2 p.m. after the people inside noticed a flickering light and smoke coming from the ceiling soon after.

Approximately 15 firefighters responded to the call and worked quickly to put it out. A ladder truck sprayed water down on the ceiling of the commercial structure, and at least, engine one was on hand to assist with ground support.

In this photo, crews used to hoses extinguish the fire from the ground.

As of now, the Union County Fire Department (UCFD) hasn’t determined the exact cause of the fire.

Due to the direction of the wind, firefighters combatted with excessive smoke blowing down on them. An estimated 50 to 80 percent of fire deaths result from smoke inhalation. It can cause asphyxiation, irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, and nausea. Signs of smoke inhalation include cough, shortness of breath, hoarseness, headache, and acute mental status changes.

Pet City USA housed all times of animals from lizards to hamsters. The store had reopened from the COVID-19 economic shutdown. While all people made it out of the building, it’s unclear if all the animals inside escaped the fire.

Fetch Your News will update this article as more details become available. Images are courtesy of UCFD. 


Firefighters enter the building.

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