Local firefighters fought not only flames but frigid conditions as two early morning blazes took a toll on property, though no injuries were reported.
The commanding officer at the first fire of the morning was Mount Airy Fire Chief Zane Poindexter. Information from the department indicates the alarm was received at 2:45 a.m.
Poindexter said the structure was located at 408 Lovill Street in Mount Airy and the first units arrived on scene in one minute and 31 seconds. The fire was brought under control shortly after 3 a.m. He estimated the property damage to the building at $20,000 with an additional $10,000 damage to the contents of the parsonage of the Saint Paul AME Church.
He said there were no injuries no one was at home at the time of the fire. Total manpower on the scene included 18 personnel, two engines, one ladder truck, one support vehicle and one command vehicle. The cause of the fire was classified as unintentional.
Other resources called for included Surry County Emergency Medical Services, Mount Airy Police Department, Duke Energy, The American Red Cross. The Four Way Volunteer Fire Department and Bannertown VFD both served on stand-by as well.
White Plains Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Heath said the call for the second fire of the morning was received at 4 a.m. Heath said the fire occurred in an unoccupied dwelling which was a single story, wood framed farmhouse on Sagefield Lane.
Heath said first responders on the scene reported flames were visible and around half of the structure seemed to be fully involved. He estimated property damage to the destroyed structure at more than $40,000. No injuries were reported. The owner of the property has been identified as Dwight Atkins.
Heath said South Surry and Ararat Volunteer Fire Departments served as back-up and White Plains was the primary department at the incident. Heath also praised the American Red Cross for coming to the scene following the earlier fire in Mount Airy to get hot beverages to firefighters.
“I can’t say enough about what those guys do,” said Heath. “The freezing temperatures make fighting fires even more difficult. I want to encourage homeowners to check their smoke detectors and wood stoves and chimneys If they haven’t checked them when it’s cold like this. These precautions save lives.”
The fires were the second and third in the area over the past three days. Early Sunday morning a house fire at 906 Sam Scott Road in the Shoals community of Pinnacle claimed the life of Nanette Hill, 49. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and the Surry County Fire Marshal’s office.
Reach David Broyles at dbroyles@civitasmedia or 336-719-1952.