Fire ruled accidental, damages one residence

Jan. 22, 2014 @ 07:16 PM

An accident with a torch caused a field fire Monday afternoon that threatened a line of mobile homes on Cedar Rock Lane.

One residence was damaged and a shed was destroyed.Marc Ross, assistant fire chief with Bearpond Volunteer Fire Department, said strong wind drove the fire forward and caused it to grow quickly.

“The owner of the property, Charlie Smith, was trying to light a torch,” Ross said. “It accidentally set the grass on fire. It burned between 1.5 and 2 acres and several structures.”

Ross didn’t know if there was significant internal damage to a mobile home at 378 Cedar Rock Lane to displace a resident there. The damage was estimated at $2,000, mostly to the exterior.

“A shed on the same property was totally involved,” Ross said. “The wind was driving it. Fortunately the wind was blowing the opposite way from that line of mobile homes, so they were never threatened.”

Also fortunate for area residents was a quick response by Bearpond and Kittrell volunteer firefighters and by crews from Vance County. The Watkins volunteer department and members of the N.C. Forestry Service also helped at the scene.

The call went out at 1:23 p.m., and control of the scene established by 2:05. The scene was declared clear at 3:06.

A Vance County Sheriff’s Office report estimated the loss of the shed and plumbing supplies inside at $3,000. The fire did $1,000 damage to a single-horse trailer and $500 damage to an old school bus used for wood storage.


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