• 64°

Couple loses everything in fire

By Seth Leonard
sleonard@salisburypost.com
A fire erupted quickly Monday, but several fire departments combined forces and knocked it down within a half hour.
According to Rowan County Fire Marshall Derek Overcash, fire and smoke destroyed several rear rooms of the Elliott Road mobile home. Further damage estimates are waiting on an investigation.
The home was still standing, however smoke damaged nearly all of the property in it. Patsy Garcia and Barry Helper, who rent the property, were struck by the cost of the blaze.
“It’s gone,” Garcia said. “Everything’s gone, everything we own.”
Garcia and Helper did not have renter’s insurance. They did manage to save four cockatiel birds and several dogs by taking them outside before the fire became too intense.
Jim Day, a neighbor, didn’t see the fire start, but he has faced similar circumstances before, in Landis in 1989.
“I know what they’re going through,” he said. “I’ve had to stand in the middle of the street and watch mine burn down. The fireman said there was nothing I could do but watch it burn.”
Steve Elliot owns most of the property along the road. As a property owner, he has felt the sting of fires himself.
“About three years ago, I had three of them burn down in one year,” he said.
Elliot said owning and renting property to as many people as he does can be costly and accidents like Monday’s fire only add to the list of expenses.
In addition to the Franklin Fire Department, which is housed just up the street, Locke and Ellis crews were on the scene. Rowan County Rescue personnel treated those on the scene, although no one appeared to have been hurt.
Josh Fox, who was the first firefighter to arrive and was in command, said the Red Cross would be helping the family.

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