MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Maury County trailer fire led to high emotions, a deputy using his taser and family members whose home was destroyed being arrested.
It all unfolded on Roy Thompson Road on Jan. 5.
Fire Fighters with Maury County Fire said they had just arrived on scene and began battling the blaze when the family arrived and severely complicated fire fighting efforts.
“It came out as a trailer fire with flames coming through the roof. We got there with a Class A fire truck, 1000 gallons of water, and we started fighting it with hand lines and four personnel,” said Will Craft, Maury County Fire Division Chief of Training.
Craft has worked countless fires in his 20-year career. But never one like this.
“The other firefighter and myself could’ve been burned pretty bad.”
Craft says the firefighters not only had to contend with flames shooting through the roof but dozens of rounds of ammunition inside the trailer that were exploding indiscriminately.
“Over 100 for sure. They’d pop off, sound like popcorn in a microwave going off one after another.”
One of the family’s vacant cars parked behind the trailer was struck by at least three bullets.
“There was a lot of ammo,” Craft says. “It probably went on for 20 minutes,” he adds.
It’s about then that Craft says the Thomason family arrived at their home, which was fully engulfed. They were very emotional.
“That’s when the homeowners showed up in their car, and they were visibly upset and trying to get in the house and that’s when the guy fell, we went to help him, he kept being very confrontational toward us, saying I want you to go in the house, why are you not going in,” Craft says.
According to the Maury County Jail intake information, Douglas Thomason weighs 300 pounds. Craft says he fell onto the legs of firefighter Keith Odom who was pinned and couldn’t get up.
Craft says the 52-year-old Thomason wouldn’t get off the pinned firefighter and the flames were rolling toward the men.
“At that time, the fire was licking out the front door and the other firefighter was about three feet from it and he said man I’m getting hot, something is burning me and I look back and that fire is rolling up on him.”
At some point, Craft says a sheriff’s deputy was forced to use his taser on another family member who was emotional and wouldn’t obey commands.
According to Jail records, Justin Wayne Thomason was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.
“They were adamant on getting in there and I understand that but you just can’t do that,” said Craft.
In the end, the home is a total loss.
Craft says firefighters were able to salvage some of the weapons which consisted of pistols and rifles.
There were several dogs at the house roaming free, but Craft said some of the family pets did not survive the blaze.
“I have heard they are remorseful for what happened,” Craft says. “They are sorry. I completely understand their train of thought about was going on, but if this ever happens to anyone else watching, just stay back and let us do our jobs.”
The Maury County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the fire. So far a possible cause has not been released.
According to the Maury County Fire Department’s website, in addition to MCSO, the TWRA and THP also worked the volatile scene keeping firefighters and EMS personnel safe.