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NEWS | Oct. 19, 2018

Ga. Guard Soldier helps douse fire during hurricane mission

By Maj. William Carraway Georgia National Guard

DONALSONVILLE, Ga. - A Georgia Army National Guard Soldier participating in relief operations following Hurricane Michael was credited with helping fire fighters extinguish a house fire Oct. 17 in Seminole County.

"Honestly, I was just doing what I was trained to do," said Ga. Army National Guard Sgt. Blake Mote, a military police officers with the Kennesaw, Georgia-based 190th MP Company. "It all falls back on doing what's right."

Mote, when not drilling with his unit, is a firefighter and advanced emergency management technician with the Clayton County Fire and Emergency Management Services.

On the night of Oct. 17, 2018, Mote was participating in a presence patrol with the 190th MP in support of Seminole County law enforcement officials when the call for assistance with a structure fire went out over the radio.

"Mote was the right person in the right place at the right time," said Lt. Col. Copeland Rowell, commander of the Decatur-based 170th MP Battalion.

The Soldiers followed the police officers to scene. Upon arrival and link up with the Spring Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Mote assessed the situation and assisted with suppression of the fire.

"I realized there was smoke coming out of the house and asked my leadership if I could help," said Mote. "Initially, I was carrying tools for the firefighters, giving them tools to pull the ceilings."

Mote advised the firefighter who was spraying water then offered to enter the house to assist.

"I went in with a hose line to attack the fire in the ceiling and work my way through the house," said Mote.

Lt. Michael Smith of the Donalsonville Fire EMS recalled his surprise when he arrived on scene.

"I responded and was told that an MP was inside fighting the fire. I proceeded to enter the building to relieve him and found a Soldier in camouflage with a breathing apparatus."

Mote explained to Smith that the fire was in the attic and directed Smith to the source. Through the efforts of the Spring Creek VFD and Donalsonville Fire and EMS, the fire was successfully suppressed.

Speaking Thursday to an assembly of Soldiers of the 190th MP Company, Donalsonville Fire and EMS Chief Dean King credited Mote's actions with saving the structure.

"His willingness to step forward and do what he knows how to do to help his fellow man kept that situation under control," said King. "I want to thank him personally and I want to thank you, for what you have done for us.

More than 900 Soldiers and Airmen of the Georgia Army and Air National Guard from nearly 40 units across the state have mobilized to render assistance to counties impacted by Hurricane Michael.