In This Weeks Edition: 02-09-2011

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Elderly couple hospitalized after fire severely damages home

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

An elderly Bamberg woman was airlifted to an August Georgia-area hospital and her elderly husband was admitted to the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital after the couple’s Charleston- Augusta Road mobile home was severely damaged by a fire on Wednesday, afternoon February 2.

According to Bamberg Fire Chief Timmie Taylor, Dell Shirey was airlifted to Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta Georgia after suffering smoke inhalation and her husband William “Sarge” Shirey was admitted to the Bamberg Memorial Hospital on Wednesday night for observation and was released on Thursday.

The Wednesday afternoon mobile home fire at 6828 Charleston-Augusta Road is thought to have originated in the area of the kitchen according to Chief Taylor. Other fire department officials on the scene made the comment “it could’ve been much worse”.

According to Chief Taylor, BFD Firefighter Phil Myers was the first person to enter the house with the fire hose fighting the fire. Bamberg Police officer and firefighter Allen Cook went in after Myers, when he found out “Sarge’s” wife Dell was in the house. Cook found her in the back bedroom and pulled her out to the porch where the other firefighters and other emergency personnel assisted in taking her to a safe area out of the smoke. When asked about the possibility of having saved a life, Officer Cook simply replied, “That’s a good feeling.”

Forty Five (45) Firefighters responded to the scene of the fire. “I would like to thank all of the Bamberg County Fire Department personnel and all of the Orangeburg County Fire personnel that came to assist with the fire,” Chief Taylor said. Fire departments responding to the scene were: Bamberg, Denmark, Ehrhardt, Olar, Govan, Little Swamp, Hunters Chapel and Clear Pond. Fire departments providing mutual aid to the scene were: Edisto, Bolen Town and Canaan. Also responding to the fire was: Bamberg County EMS and the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Department.

Major Ellis reunited with his family

Joyce M. Searson, Publisher

Major Brian Ellis was reunited with his wife, Katie, and his three month-old daughter, Ruth Amelia, February 2 in Savannah, Georgia. After Ruth was born in October of last year, Major Ellis didn’t expect to see his wife and daughter until his tour of duty was completed in South Korea in June 2011. Thankfully, he was granted a week’s leave to return for a ‘paternal visit’.

Ellis said with a smile, “She (Ruth) did cry a little bit when I first held her, but you have to remember, I’d been on an airplane or in an airport for almost 2 days to get here…I wasn’t at my best.”

Ellis, who was promoted to Major in the Air Force on December 1, 2010, is stationed at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea through June 2011 as a Civil Engineer with the Red Horse Squadron. Once he receives the new base assignment, both Katie and Ruth will be moving from Savannah, Georgia to join him.

Katie is an engineer employed with the Army Core of Engineers in Savannah and is the daughter of Jack and Molly Phillips of Savannah, Georgia. Brian is the son of Bruce and Beth Ellis of Bamberg and grandson of Ruth McMillan of Bamberg.

Red Cross

Jerry Durgan, Contributing Writer

The Aiken County and Bamberg County Chapters of the American Red Cross are looking for volunteers to support area Red Cross functions and to recertify existing Red Cross volunteers and board members for the 2011-2012 Red Cross year. The organizations rely heavily on capable and energetic volunteers in every aspect of service delivery and program administration in its mission to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Interested individuals and organizations who would like to volunteer their services to the Red Cross and consequently to their own communities, please contact Volunteer Coordinators of the Aiken Chapter; Rusty Hutson: at 803.641.4152 or cell 803.295.1212, or via email to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Michelle Salters: at cell 803.514.4084.
or Harvey Kling, Executive Director of the Bamberg Chapter: at 803.245.6124 or 803.245.5051

Rusty and Michelle can also coordinate volunteers for the Bamberg area.