Woodstove fire claims Boone home
by Anna Oakes
Firefighters responded at 1:29 p.m. Thursday to a two-story home fully engulfed in flames at 103 Rocky Lane in Boone.
No people were injured in the fire, Boone Fire Chief Jimmy Isaacs confirmed, but the blaze did claim the lives of three pets. He said the accidental fire was ignited by combustible materials that had fallen over onto a woodstove.
"The fire caused extensive damage to the structure," Isaacs said. "There was heavy fire involvement on arrival, (but) the fire was quickly knocked down." The fire primarily burned the top floor of the building, with some water damage occurring in the basement, he said.
Isaacs said no one was inside the structure, located off of Rainbow Trail, at the time it caught on fire; the home's residents were at a neighbor's house when they noticed the flames. The chief did not know the residents' names or a cost estimate of property damage as of presstime Thursday. The American Red Cross is assisting the residents of the home, he said.
Firefighters from the Boone and Deep Gap fire departments worked the fire with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. Meat Camp and Cove Creek fire departments also received automatic aid calls to respond, but Boone Fire canceled the aid requests because a hydrant was located close by.
The structure is located directly next door to a site where a 59-year-old woman died in a mobile home fire on Jan. 23 of last year. Firefighters concluded that combustible materials ignited by heating sources caused the fire that led to the death of June Kathleen Hicks.
Isaacs said the two incidents were not related.
"We do tend to see some areas more prone to fire than others," he said, depending on factors such as the age and conditions of structures.
Fire officials emphasize the importance of keeping combustible materials at least three feet away from heating sources and of ensuring that smoke detectors are in working order.
"One thing people should always keep in mind this time of year, especially with the cold spells that we have had, is that the heating systems are put under more stress than they've had in years," Isaacs added.