Friday, February 5, 2016
Bakertown Firefighter Stricken in Station, Dies
Firefighters in a N.C. fire department are mourning the loss of a veteran.
James R. Varnell, 53, fell ill as he was leaving a training drill at Bakertown Vol. Fire Co. on Tuesday night.
Fellow firefighters came to his aid, and provided basic care until medics arrived.
Varnell was taken to a local hospital where he died. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.
He has more than 20 years in the fire service.
This brings to eight the number of firefighters to die on duty so far this year.
Cigarette damages Red Roof Inn room in Fayetteville
A lit cigarette left in a hotel room Thursday prompted an evacuation and caused $20,000 in damage, the Fayetteville Fire Department said.
The fire was reported at 11:18 a.m. on the third floor of the Red Roof Inn on the 3100 block of Bordeaux Park Drive, a news release said.
Hotel staff found black smoke along the room's walls after cleaning crews heard the alarm.
"The alarm and sprinkler system worked the way it was intended to," Richard Whiteside, a battalion chief, said. "It was under control."
The fire was contained to the single room as multiple departments responded to the incident, the release said.
"It appears that a hotel guest had checked out of the hotel and left an unattended cigarette in the hotel room," the release said.
Firefighters found smoke throughout the third-floor hallway and 12 people - guests and staff - at the scene.
The Red Roof Inn is a four-story hotel. The hotel returned to full operations before 5 p.m. Thursday, Whiteside said.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Agency says former Charlotte fire investigator can sue city after firing
A state agency said it found “sufficient evidence” in claims by a former Charlotte fire investigator that the Charlotte Fire Department fired her in an act of retaliation.
The North Carolina Department of Labor finished investigating Crystal Eschert’s claims.
It gave her the right to sue the city, saying it found “sufficient evidence that a violation of the law may have occurred.”
Eschert told Channel 9 that the city fired her after she raised safety concerns about a Fire Department building.
WSOC-TV ABC 9 Charlotte
Dunn police officers save apartment residents from fire
No one was injured in an apartment fire in Dunn that prompted a response from five fire departments.
The call for the fire at 607 W. Broad St. came just after 2 a.m., officials said. The structure is a home that was converted into six different apartments, and all the residents were displaced because of the fire.
Residents said they were woken up early in the morning by pounding on their doors – by two Dunn police officers. The two officers were patrolling the area, spotted the flames and arrived within minutes to alert the residents of the building.
Firefighters said the flames were extinguished around 4 a.m.
WRAL-TV CBS 5 Raleigh
Heavy winds spread Walstonburg building fire
Pitt County firefighters blame heavy winds for spreading a Wednesday afternoon fire in Walstonburg.
Fountain, Farmville and Sharp Point Fire Departments responded to a fire at a barn behind a building that housed Tar River Sports.
Fountain Fire Chief Michael Dickens said no one was injured.
“The wind definitely helped spread the fire throughout the structure,” Chief Dickens said. “When we arrived on the scene, [the barn] was fully involved and already on the ground.”
Firefighters are investigating what started the fire, but they don’t believe arson was involved.
WNCT-TV Channel 9