GEORGETOWN — Just five minutes earlier and he could have grabbed a garden hose to extinguish the devastating downtown fire that burned a row of buildings, said the resident who discovered it early Wednesday morning and called 911.
Paige Sawyer, who also is a Georgetown City Council member, said he walks the same route at 5 a.m. every day from his house five blocks, from the burned stores.
Sawyer said he was on the Harborwalk boardwalk Wednesday morning, when he smelled smoke near Buzz’s Roost, then saw the fire a few stores down at the rear of Limpin’ Jane’s restaurant.
The fire was in a black plastic bag, like a trash bag, that contained cans and other items, Sawyer said. He saw it begin to spread from the bag up a wooden wall, and called 911.
That was 5:20 a.m., Sawyer said. After a few moments of confusion of the location by a dispatcher, the first fire trucks arrived in five minutes, he said.
But while waiting for them, he tried to roust some people he knew lived above the stores, including at Limpin’ Jane’s. The occupants there smelled smoke and came out.
Showing his scraped knuckles, Sawyer said he yelled and pounded repeatedly on the waterside doors of the Harborwalk Books building, but a few minutes later found the occupants had left through the street side. No one was injured in the fires.
``I stood on the Harborwalk most of the time watching the fire spread,’’ Sawyer said. ``It went from one porch to the other porch.’’
That was how the blazes bypassed the brick walls between the buildings, and once the fire was inside the historic buildings it consumed everything.
``All that heart pine,’’ Sawyer said.
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