Woodland fire claims life

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, February 2, 2010

WOODLAND — Investigators with the State Bureau of Investigation are trying to determine the cause of a blaze that claimed a person’s life here.

Early Sunday, firefighters with Woodland Fire Department, assisted by those from Rich Square Fire Department, responded a residential fire, one that proved to be deadly.

According to Woodland Fire Chief Cleve Bowen, his department was called out at 4:15 a.m. to a single-story wood frame house at 418 Ashe Street.

Before they got to the scene, Bowen said firefighters had to use caution with the fire trucks on the ice covered roads from the winter storm that blanketed the region with snow and sleet on Saturday.

“When we arrived (the fire) was coming out of the roof and both windows,” he said. “It was in such a state of involvement that there was no way to gain entry safely.”

Bowen said mutual aid was called in to Rich Square Fire Department.

Four engines responded to the scene along with 15 firefighters from Woodland and 13 from Rich Square. Woodland Emergency Medical Services were also on hand.

Bowen confirmed there was a fatality.

Unconfirmed information placed four people inside the home at the time of the fire. Of the four, a 78-year-old woman reportedly was not able to exit the residence.

Bowen said the crews were able to knock down the fire in 10 minutes and secured the scene and worked on hot spots until around 10 a.m. when the SBI Arson Team arrived.

Bowen said the several agencies were involved with the preliminary fire investigation, including the Woodland Police Department and the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation into what caused the blaze and where it began is being investigated by the SBI.