USA — The fire forced about 100 people from their homes, but they weren’t the only ones on the move because of the raging wildfire.
This didn’t just affect a few homeowners or even a few acres, but an entire community.
Firefighters from around the area came together, regular men and women, most volunteers giving their time and skills to help.
The blaze brought the area together, especially when it came to the folks in danger -and forced to evacuate.
The halls of the First Baptist Church of Ludowici looked more like a shelter.
Folks from the Coastal Manor nursing home had to leave their building Thursday night as fire approached.
Their makeshift home was inside the church last night, and again tonight.
It has all the comforts of home, including medicine, nurses and even beds.
It was a group effort that took the entire area working together to keep these folks safe.
“Without calling anybody or asking for help, people showed up and said how can we help you? It was the neatest looking thing for a small town,” said First Baptist Pastor Eric Rentz. “Pickup trucks with beds in the back and directing people all around.”
Coastal Manor Administrator Elise Stafford believes the church’s help made a big difference.
“To have something right here at home allows the families to interact and be assured that their residents are being taken care of and that they are not in danger,” explained Stafford.
“Im proud of my folks, proud of our community and I love the way they come together,” smiled Rentz. “They are there for each other.”
At the Long State Prison, it was moving day too. Moving back in.
As the fire approached Thursday night, the prisoners were taken to Reidsville and Georgia State Prisons for their own safety.
News 3 was there Friday night as one bus at a time they returned to the jail, and their own cells, safe and sound.
The only difference this time was the scorched earth that surrounds their prison.
Folks helping out their own community even extended to the inmates themselves.
The Long County inmate fire brigade is still out knocking down the hot spots late Friday night, doing their part to save homes and land, even though when this is over they are headed back to jail.