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Friday, May 27, 2016
False alarm fires create high turnover for Onslow County volunteer firefighters    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Almost half of the 3,900 Onslow County fires reported in 2015 ended up not being fires at all. That’s according to Onslow County Fire Marshal Brian Kelly, who said when a call comes in with little information, the full force of fire departments are dispatched just in case. For example, Kelly said on Monday a call came in from someone who smelled gas near the U.S. 258 and N.C. 53 intersection in Jacksonville. There are multiple buildings around the location and without a specific destination or more information, emergency services responded as a worst-case scenario. Nothing was found. Other times, Kelly said someone may drive by a home and see smoke, so they call 911 to report it. Dispatchers gather as much information as possible but Kelly said many times drivers don’t stop to investigate. Without knowing if the house is on fire or if there are people injured, firefighters respond prepared for anything. “What a unit is dispatched to is not always what they find,” Kelly said, adding that the number of fires reported is higher than the actual number of fires. Kelly said those units dispatched to a report of smoke at a home

Firefighters save Moore County store from burning down    view comments tweat me share on facebook
PHOTOS/VIDEO: Firefighters saved a Carthage convenience store from burning down after the building caught fire Friday morning, the Aberdeen Times reported. Fire crews were called out to a report of a commercial structure fire around 1 a.m. at Mercy’s Trax Grocery Store located at 1487 U.S. Highway 15-501 near the Lee County line, the newspaper reported. The first crews who arrived on scene found flames coming from the back of the building and smoke coming from the roof. Firefighters were able to quickly get the fire under control, the Aberdeen Times reported. Due to their quick action, the building was saved from complete destruction. The building and contents did receive extensive damage from the fire, smoke and water with a large hole burned through the back of the building, according to the newspaper. No one was injured in the fire and the cause is under investigation.

Update: Cause of fire at historic Hillsborough mill deemed ’suspicious’    view comments tweat me share on facebook
The cause of a fire that destroyed a section of the former Bellevue Manufacturing textile mill in Hillsborough on Friday was deemed suspicious, authorities said Thursday. Officials said the investigation into a cause is continuing, and that the property has been released back to its owner. The fire broke out at the mill around 5 p.m. on Friday and was “largely extinguished” by Saturday evening, authorities said. “We know about where the fire started and what was there and what wasn’t,” said Hillsborough Fire Marshal Jerry Wagner. Alex Coats, owner of nearby Hillsborough BBQ, said the loss of revenue on the day of the fire was substantial. "Being closed on the second busiest night of the week is a bummer to say the least," Coats said. "Right before service kicks oof, having to evacuate the building wasn't the excitement we'd planned on." Hillsborough residents said it's a blessing that most of the historic mill is still standing. "It hurts a little bit, but I don't like to hear that," Amos Pedersen said. "Hopefully they'll resurrect what they were going to do there an still be able to do that." Officials said the mill was slated to eventually become apartments.
WRAL-TV CBS 5 Raleigh

Car ignites Wilmington house fire, causing $100,000 damage    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A fire that ignited from a car parked in a garage caused $100,000 worth of damage Thursday to a Wilmington home. When firefighters arrived at the home on 1030 43rd St., flames and smoke were showing, said Battalion Chief Chris Nelson. The fire was extinguished by 2:15 p.m., Nelson said. There was heavy damage to the garage and a vehicle inside, as well as moderate damage to two nearby residences, he said. Firefighters on the scene had to clear brush in the backyard with chainsaws to stop hot spots from forming and firefighters sprayed water on a tree nearby where flames were spreading. No injuries were reported, Nelson said.
Wilmington Morning Star

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Arson investigation still open five years after Asheville firefighter’s death   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Investigators continue the search for an arsonist who set fire to a local medical building killing a mountain firefighter. This summer marks the five-year anniversary of the death of Asheville firefighter Captain Jeff Bowen. Bowen was killed fighting a fire at 445 Biltmore Avenue, now renamed 1 Hospital Drive, on the campus of Mission Hospital. July 28, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the fire, but for some, it hardly seems possible. "Time is such a relative thing. If you told me I spent five years in that building that day, I would have believed you," said Asheville firefighter Jay Bettencourt. Bettencourt was with Captain Jeff Bowen when Bowen collapsed inside the building, out of air and in trouble. "You know, the feeling that I remember about it the most was stress. Like a crushing, debilitating stress and I felt like I was working for Captain Bowen to try to get us...get myself out [and] get him out just as a team. We were trying to get out together," said Bettencourt.
WLOS-TV ABC 13 Asheville

Ledger Fire Department awarded grant for new equipment   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Wayne Goodwin, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal, announced this past week the Ledger Fire Department was awarded a $16,475 grant from the state of North Carolina through the 2016 Volunteer Fire Department Fund. The check will be mailed to Chief Mike Young to purchase equipment using matching funds. “We purchased a new truck a while ago and this money will be used to equip that truck,” Young said. “We are buying hoses, nozzles and an air pack for the truck.” The Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal must approve the purchases. “Fire and rescue organizations protect our communities large and small across North Carolina, but sometimes their budgets don’t grow with their responsibilities,” Goodwin said. “Our emergency service personnel should be supported with the best equipment and supplies needed to do their jobs correctly and safely. I know the Ledger Fire Department will use this money to serve their community even better.” Goodwin thanked Young for his hard work and dedicated group of 23 volunteer firefighters. Ledger Fire Department has received a total of $213,609.88 from the Volunteer Fire Department Fund since the program began in 1988.
Mitchell News

Salisbury: Woman killed after big rig slams into stalled car on I-85   view comments tweat me share on facebook
State troopers said one person was killed in a crash involving a tractor-trailer on Interstate 85 in Salisbury early Thursday morning. Troopers told Channel 9 that the crash happened just after 5 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-85 near mile marker 74. Troopers said a woman was driving in the northbound lanes when her car stalled on the interstate. When she got out of the car, a tractor-trailer collided with her vehicle, and struck the woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name has not been released. Officials said the collision ignited a fire but that the driver of the tractor-trailer will be OK. All northbound lanes of I-85 were blocked while crews investigated the crash, and officials don't expect the highway to reopen until 3 p.m.
WSOC-TV ABC 9 Charlotte

Heavy fire and smoke damage to Concord home   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A kitchen fire heavily damaged a home off Zion Church Road East Wednesday afternoon, May 25. The family was at home cooking when grease splashed up and caught fire in the exhaust hood and filter above the stove. The fire quickly spread into the attic and though out the mobile home at 1313 Creekside Drive, according to firefighters. Everyone made it out safely and no injuries we were reported. The home was heavily damaged before firefighters from the Allen Volunteer Fire Department extinguished the blaze. Allen was assisted by Flowe’s Store Volunteer Fire Department, Concord Fire, Cabarrus EMS, the Cabarrus Sheriff’s Office and the Cabarrus Fire Marshal. The fire marshal’s office is still assessing the damage. People at the scene said the family had just paid off their mortgage on the home.
Concord & Kannapolis Independent Tribune

Firefighters respond to fire at Thomasville apartment complex; 14 displaced   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Fire crews from Thomasville as well as other departments responded to a structure fire at an apartment complex on Wednesday night. The fire was reported at 8:55 p.m., according to Davidson County Communications. Crews were dispatched to 212 Arthur Drive, which is the location of Cedar Hills Apartments. Firefighters on the scene tell FOX8's Amber Roberts the fire displaced 14 residents. The fire started at the end of the complex, which is a mixture of apartments and townhomes. Flames flared up while a family was cooking french fries on a stove, causing the fire, firefighters said.

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