A man was arrested at his residence on East Valley Road in Rydal Tuesday night while Bartow County firefighters were attempting to put out a fire there that occurred during the severe thunderstorm. Raymond Manley heard from a neighbor that fire trucks were out at his house. While firefighters were working all around his residence, Manley drove recklessly up his steep half-a-mile long narrow driveway and almost struck a firefighter who was pulling hoses midway up the driveway. He continued up the driveway, running over a total of seven sections of fire hose.
Manley then parked his Ford F-350 on top of a fire hose, flattening it, and restricting the water supply to the fire. He exited his truck and ran towards the front door in an attempt to run inside the house and look for his 12 cats.
Fire Chief Craig Millsap and three other firefighters had to stop working on the fire and run to the front door to prevent Manley from entering the fully involved structure fire. One of them grabbed Manley as he approached the front door and pulled him away from the burning house. Manley began swinging his arms and fists at the firefighter and had to be physically restrained by him and two other firefighters.
None of the firefighters reported any injuries. The seven sections of fire hose that Manley ran over will have to be repaired or replaced.
Bartow County deputies arrested Raymond Manley and charged him with five counts of felony obstruction of a firefighter and seven counts of crossing a fire hose.