Early morning fire destroys mobile home

Staff report

April 21, 2014

Smoke detectors alerted a homeowner and resident to an early-Easter-morning house fire, which most likely saved their lives, according to local officials.

The fire occurred in the Holly Springs community at 149 Fox Walk Lane.

Assistant Fire Marshall Jason Burkholder reported that a 911 call came in around 5:30 a.m., after homeowner Timothy Tate was awoken by the sound of smoke detectors going off in his double-wide mobile home just before dawn on Easter Sunday, April 20.

“The two occupants, a man and his daughter, woke up when the smoke detectors started going off. The homeowner saw the fire and they were able to evacuate the house. Those smoke detectors basically saved their lives. They were hard-wired in and working, and they woke him up. That’s the lifesaver here,” Tate shared.

The blaze originated from an outside electrical outlet that was in use, with a cord running from it to an outbuilding. Tate said the outlet malfunctioned, which started the fire. The fire then spread from the front right corner of the home to the eaves, then into the attic area and into the home. It took firefighters about 45 minutes to put out the fire.

Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department was the primary unit on the scene. They were assisted by Ararat and White Plains Volunteer Fire Departments, with the Pilot Knob Volunteer Fire Department called in for a tanker truck and support truck. Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad and Surry County EMS were on standby for medical support. The Bannertown Fire Department’s Ladies Auxiliary provided refreshments and support for the firemen on the scene.

Tate said one firefighter was assisted by EMS after he tripped on the scene, resulting in an ankle injury.

The Surry County Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the residents.

Tate said he wanted to remind everyone in the community to make sure they have properly installed and maintained smoke detectors in their homes. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke detectors.