Woodleaf man miraculously escapes house fire

WOODLEAF — Fire investigators say a Woodleaf man is blessed to be alive after a Thursday morning fire destroyed his home and temporarily trapped him inside.

Robin Bares, 53, of 780 N.C. 801, was cooking when he lay down for a minute and fell asleep. The food was left on the stove and eventually started a fire.

When Bares awoke, his home was engulfed in flames, said Fire Investigator Deborah Horne.

The fire began just after 12:30 a.m. and was under control by 1:30 a.m., Horne said.

She said he tried to get out by punching a window, but was unable to make it outside. He searched for the door knob, but was unable to find it in the smoke.

Miraculously, a passerby kicked the door in and got Bares outside. Fire officials say they don’t know who that person was and there was no indication that any motorists had been in the area.

Bares was taken to Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and later transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where he was listed in good condition.

Horne said his injuries mostly were from punching a window.

She and investigator Mark Troublefield returned to the home Thursday and she said it was destroyed.

Bares was the only one who lived in the home, located beside the former Bares Upholstery.

Woodleaf, Scotch Irish, Locke, Cooleemee, Jerusalem fire departments, responded as did Rowan EMS, Rowan County Rescue Squad, the Rowan County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Hanford Dole Chapter of the American Red Cross. Energy United crews were called to secure electricity at the property.

The home was not insured, Horne said.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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