"These things can be rebuilt"; man loses cherished items in Martinez fire

Saturday, March 16, 2019
News 12 at 11

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Last night, Columbia County Fire Rescue responded to a fire in Martinez where one town home caught on fire. The fire quickly spread to the two other units next door.

It happened at 3924 Mirmar Court. Residents in the three units were inside their homes when the fire started, but everyone got out safety. There were no injuries.

The middle unit and the unit next door were destroyed. Robbie Roberson was inside the unit next door.

Robbie Roberson has a lot of stuff. Pictures, boxes of collectible items, animal mounts from more states than most people have been to.

"Everybody goes through life and you accumulate things over time frames and I guess mine was, I love to hunt. I get that from my dad," Robbie Roberson said. "They all have a meaning. I could look at them and think about who I was with, where I was and the fun that we had. It's just good memories."

When his house went up in flames, he felt like a part of his past had been destroyed.

"It was 11:00 p.m. last night. I was up in the bedroom here," Roberson said. "When I came out, I saw it was all engulfed."

Robbie says it started at his next door neighbor's who was grilling inside his storage unit.

"My neighbor told me that he caught something on fire. I couldn't understand him. I came home and I could smell smoke."

That was at 8:30 p.m., but Robbie says it was mostly smoke and they put it out quickly.

"He said he had it all under control. I basically went inside and starting watching a movie."

Hours later, it started again, but this time, they were flames crawling up the side of his house.

"When I came out here, it wasn't a little fire," Roberson said. "This thing was so engulfed it was touching the side of my house."

While Columbia County Fire Rescue rushed to the scene, it was a mad dash for Robbie to try and save whatever he could.

"I didn't save my pictures of my daughters," Roberson said. "There's pictures here. That's my dad and my brother."

He lost a lot of stuff, but in the end, it's just stuff.

"These things can be rebuilt. I'm in construction, so I know these things can be rebuilt. Everyone's able to go home and be with their loved ones. That's what's important here."