Wildfire threatens homes and a vineyard in Floyd County

A wildfire consumed acres of land in Rome Wednesday night. The fire came within 100 yards of the Newby Farm & Vineyard.

The owners feared the flames would advance toward their home, their barn, and their storage building with 8,000 gallons of wine.

"The smoke was getting think and getting dark. When I rounded the corner I saw orange flames," said Shannon Kennedy-Newby.

Shannon was working in the vineyard when she first spotted the fire.  Her husband, Billy,  called 911 and started to protect his property and the winery.

"I was thinking if it keeps coming it's going to get to the barn. I had wine tanks stored within 50 feet of there, I was moving as much as I could," said Billy Newby.

Shannon went to the house with their children.

"I had a moment, I thought what would I save? I grabbed our passports and birth certificates. I knew I couldn't save everything and can't pick one thing. I figured I could take my kids and my pets and that was it," said Shannon.

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The Rome-Floyd County Fire Department showed up with tanker trucks.  Firefighters with the Georgia Forestry Commission brought bulldozers and started pushing trees and making fire breaks.  It was dark and windy with gusts up to 40 miles an hour.

"The wind was blowing, jumped their fire breaks a few times," said Billy.

A storm was moving in. Fortunately, around midnight, the skies opened up.  The rain helped douse the flames.  

Now as the Newbys walk through the charred trees and ground. They're grateful their home and their business was spared.

"We have put a lot of time and work into this and I would have hated to see that happen," said Shannon.