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Walthourville firefighters help with unusual request
Walthourville Fire Chief Terry Satterfield and firefighters Kevin Beard and Daniel Harris made a frail woman's life easier when they cleared a dead rat out from under her trailer. - photo by Patty Leon

In their day-to-day activities, they heroically battle residential and wild fires. On rare occasions, they help rescue a cat that might be stuck in a tree.

But on Thursday, Walthourville Fire Chief Terry Satterfield and firefighters Kevin Beard and Daniel Harris came to the aid of an elderly woman with a strange request and need.

The woman said there was a bad odor coming from underneath her mobile home.

So the trio responded to her call. It didn’t take a long ride on the fire truck to get there, nor a tall ladder. The woman lives across Busbee Road from the fire station.

“She contacted us about two days ago about a strong smell … and she lives on her own,” Satterfield said, adding that the woman also has medical conditions that were being complicated by the smell.

The chief said the firefighters tried locating the source of the smell after her first call Tuesday but were unsuccessful. He added that the woman tried to look for any possible indication of a dead animal around her house but was not able to crawl under the home.

“She called me again (Thursday) and asked if we could crawl underneath and cut all the insulation out to see if we could find it,” he said. “This is normally something the fire department does not do, but we are just trying to help her out and get under there and see what the smell is.”

Satterfield said it was obvious from the odor that they were on to something when Harris suited up into a hazardous-materials suit and crawled under the home.

Harris stripped away layers of insulation and came across the decaying remains of what probably was a rat. The layers of surrounding insulation wreaked.

Harris, Satterfield and Beard hauled away the woman’s trouble, and the trio cleaned up knowing — even if in an unusual way — that they had done another good deed.

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