Ahoskie homeowner ‘lucky’

Published 9:11 am Tuesday, December 29, 2009

AHOSKIE – “Lucky”…that, in one word, was the reaction of Ahoskie Rural Fire Chief Mike Bradley when asked about a residential blaze reported here early Monday morning.

“The lady and her daughter living at the residence were very fortunate not to lose their home and belongings,” Bradley went on to say. “After looking at things in the aftermath, we strongly believe the fire had been smoldering in the attic of the home since about midnight.”

The fire was reported at 7:15 a.m. Upon the arrival of the first of four Ahoskie Rural fire units, smoke was seen coming from the attic area of the home, located at 120 Garfield Mitchell Road off Holloman Road west of Ahoskie.

Chief Bradley said he believed the fire was sparked by the flue of a chimney.

“The fire had already burned through the trusses in the attic,” Bradley remarked. “If that fire had any air to work with, the entire house would have gone up in flames.”

Bradley said the homeowner reported a problem upon noticing the electrical current was lost in the home.

“The fire had burned through some electrical wiring, thus causing the power outage,” he said.

Other than the firemen having to cut a hole in the ceiling to gain access to the attic, there was no structural damage in the living area of the home.

“To be on the safe side, we did have to remove all the insulation in the attic just in case any of the hot embers were embedded in the insulation,” Bradley said, adding that total damages due to the blaze were estimated at $20,000.

Ahoskie firefighters, 16 in number, remained on the scene until after 9 a.m.

There were no injuries reported.