Heaters blamed in fatal fire
by Anna Oakes
Fire officials have concluded that combustible materials ignited by heating sources caused the fire that led to the death of a 59-year-old woman Wednesday.
June Kathleen Hicks died from smoke inhalation after her singlewide mobile home on Rocky Lane off of Rainbow Trail in Boone caught fire and burned in the early hours Wednesday, Boone Fire Marshal Ronnie Marsh said. A medical examiner released autopsy information Friday morning.
"It's just an accidental fire," Marsh said. "She had various heating sources in the house." Temperatures in the Boone area were in the teens that night.
An obituary published by Hampton Funeral Service states the woman's name as Kathleen "Kay" Hicks.
The Boone Fire Department responded at 3:41 a.m. Wednesday to a report of a structure fire, and a singlewide mobile home was "heavily involved" in fire when crews arrived on scene, Boone Fire Chief Jimmy Isaacs said.
Over the radio Wednesday, an emergency dispatcher told responders that a caller reported hearing a loud "boom" before the mobile home was engulfed in fire.
Isaacs said it seemed likely that the noise heard was the tires blowing out on a vehicle parked near the home.
"There's no evidence that there was an explosion inside the structure," he said.
Several other structures are located close to the home that burned, but crews were able to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading, Isaacs said.
Meat Camp, Deep Gap and Cove Creek fire departments received an automatic aid call to respond to the fire, but Boone Fire canceled the aid requests because a hydrant was located close by, Isaacs said. Cove Creek manned the Boone 1 fire station while Boone Fire Department crews worked the fire.
Marsh emphasized the importance of keeping combustible materials at least three feet away from heating sources and of ensuring that smoke detectors are in working order.
The obituary states that funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.
Kellen Moore contributed reporting to this story.