Fire destroys home Christmas eve morning

First Posted: 12/24/2008

Staff Reporter

PILOT MOUNTAIN Firefighters raced to a home at 175 Little Waterfall Drive off Dodson Mill road at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning to a report of a fully involved structure fire.
Pilot Knob Volunteer Fire Department Chief James DeHart said the owners of the house, Terry and Sherry Long, were not home at the time of the fire. He said it started in the corner of the home where the Christmas tree had been standing, and the home was a total loss.
What is unusual is that it was an artificial tree and neither one of them could remember if the lights on the tree had been left on while they werent there, DeHart said. He said artificial trees are flame-retardant.
The couple is going through a separation and only Mr. Long was living in the home, DeHart said. He said the home was insured and he was glad that no one got hurt.
Crews from Pilot Knob, Bannertown, Ararat and Double Creek Volunteer fire departments battled the blaze until about 3:30 a.m. DeHart said the home is a total loss. About 40 to 45 firefighters battled the blaze.
At first the fire was called as a double-wide, but DeHart said it was actually more of a modular home with wooden supports.
DeHart said Assistant Fire Marshal Jason Burkholder was on the scene Wednesday morning, but a preliminary report states that the fire was not of a suspicious nature.
He said he thought the couple was in the process of moving out. As far as he knew, no Christmas gifts were destroyed in the fire.
In addition to the fire departments, Pilot Mountain Rescue Squad and Surry County EMS responded for medical standby.
Contact Mondee Tilley at or at 719-1930.

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