Family escapes Sunday morning fire, loses cat

  • Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 12:29 a.m.

SALISBURY — A fire burned nearly half a house Sunday morning on St. Peters Church Road, and thanks to a smoke detector, the family got out safely.

But a pet cat died in the fire, said Deborah Horne with the fire marshal’s office.


She said the couple who lives in the home, Jim and Phyllis Cornelison, had an adult child and his family over for Mother’s Day.

They woke up Sunday morning before 7 a.m. to the sound of a smoke alarm.

“If there had not been a smoke detector, I’m not sure everyone would have been able to get out,” Horne said. “It’s an inexpensive thing to save your life.”

She said she’s thankful that everyone got out and asked for prayers for the family. The homeowners had insurance, which will help them deal with the damage to the house.

Horne said the fire started in the attic area over the garage in the split-level house, located in the 3000 block of St. Peters Church Road.

“The fire department did a fantastic job,” she said. “They got there, they started fighting the fire and were able to save over half the house.”

Responding to the fire were West Liberty, Gold Hill, Union and Rockwell Rural fire departments, as well as the Rowan County Rescue Squad and the Rowan County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.

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