Ahoskie fire displaces four

Published 5:49 pm Saturday, May 30, 2015

AHOSKIE – Four tenants of the Ahoskie High School Apartments have been displaced following a Thursday afternoon fire.

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured; however, one of the tenants was transported to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital to be checked out for possible smoke inhalation. She was treated and released.

“Nobody was hurt, that’s the main thing,” said Tyrone Lindsey – Executive Director of the Ahoskie Housing Authority, the management firm overseeing the AHS Apartments.

Lindsey said the fire was contained to what is referred to as the old Agriculture Building, which is detached and located behind the main building. That building was converted into four apartments, three of which were occupied at the time of the fire.

“The fire was in (apartment) A121, which is in the back left corner of the building,” Lindsey said. “It’s to my understanding that they (Ahoskie Fire Department) found what they determined to be the ‘hot spot’ at an electrical outlet on a wall in the back room (bedroom) of the apartment.”

“We may be looking at a faulty outlet,” said Davey Gaston, Maintenance Supervisor for the Ahoskie Housing Authority. “We’ll know more once the Ahoskie Fire Department completes its full investigation into the cause of the fire.”

The good news is that the fire alarm system in place did its job.

“The alarm company, as is protocol, contacted the Ahoskie Police Department, who in turn contacted Davey, and also the site manager at the apartments,” Lindsey said.

“The system worked,” Gaston remarked. “All the responders were notified and responded in a timely manner.”

Lindsey added that three of the four apartments were occupied at the time of the blaze. Tenants in apartments A122 and A124, both males, were able to escape. The female occupant of A121, where the fire occurred, was not in her apartment when the fire erupted.

“The site manager contacted the American Red Cross who has assisted the displaced tenants by providing them with money cards,” Lindsey noted. “The site manager made sure that those four individuals had someplace to go. Each has been taken in by a family member while we work to get these four apartments repaired.”

The majority of the structural damage occurred in A121. The remainder of the building suffered smoke and water damage.

“What we’re waiting on is the fire report, then we can move forward with our insurance carrier to begin the process of making repairs,” Lindsey said.

“I’m pretty sure that our insurance carrier will send an inspector to do a full assessment on the damages,” Gaston stated.

The timetable to have the building repaired and re-occupied is not known at this time.

The Ahoskie Fire Department, with assistance from Ahoskie Rural, responded to the 4:30 p.m. alarm.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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