Fire damages home after lantern tips over

Tom Joyce Staff Reporter

December 9, 2013

The tipping over of a lantern sparked a weekend fire that damaged a mobile home in the White Pines Country Club area northwest of Mount Airy.

The incident occurred around 10 p.m. Saturday at 138 Lower Park Lane, located in a mobile home park off White Pines Country Club Road.

An adult male, whose name could not be obtained, was the lone occupant of the dwelling, from which he was displaced as a result of the fire.

“The guy had an oil lantern and set it down on the floor, and then it tipped over and set the wall on fire,” said Johnny Hiatt, the chief of the Franklin Volunteer Fire Department.

That unit got a boost from the nearby Cana, Va., Volunteer Fire Department, whose members arrived at the scene quickly enough to keep the flames from engulfing the structure.

This allowed the damage to be limited to the panelling of the wall, according to Hiatt, who described the structure as an older single-wide mobile home. He did not have a damage estimate from the blaze, which caused no injuries.

The Pine Ridge Volunteer Fire Department also was called out, but reportedly turned back after learning the fire had been brought under control.

While fast action averted major problems, Hiatt said Saturday night’s incident highlights the need to exercise caution when flammable implements such as lanterns or candles are used.

“Make sure you’re setting them on something that is stable,” the Franklin fire chief advised, saying this had not been done by the victim of Saturday’s fire with the lantern. “He set it down on the carpet and carpet is unstable.”

The man received shelter, clothing and food assistance from the Surry County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Although his name could not be obtained Monday, he was identified as the brother of the person who owns the property on Lower Park Lane, identified by the Surry County tax office as Sandra Davis Vaughn.

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