Fire on 601 could be arson
By Jessie Burchette
A family visiting a sick grandmother in West Virginia got a shocking call Saturday night.
Their home on U.S. 601 was on fire.
The two-story wood-frame house at 5025 U.S. 601 sustained heavy damage from the fire around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
Tracy Richard Kinser and his wife, Contessa, returned Monday to find their house heavily damaged by the fire, smoke and water.
The Kinsers are concerned that the fire may have been deliberately set.
The Rowan County Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department in investigating the possibility of arson.
Fire Marshal Tom Murphy said Tuesday that no determination has been made. His investigators are working with insurance investigators.
Meanwhile the Kinsers are staying in a hotel and trying to deal with the fire and the possibility that it was arson.
“We’re really shocked,” Contessa Kinser said. “We’re scared mostly to think something like this could happen.
“We’re really worried for our family, our boys,” she said. The Kinsers have two sons, ages 14 and 8.
The Kinsers had made arrangements for a neighbor to look after their horses while they were out of town. And now they are concerned about the horses.
With the fire, Duke Energy has cut off electricity to the site ó leaving the electric fence without power. They are afraid the horses will get out and get hurt.
While the damage to the house and loss of belongings is tough, Contessa Kinser said the worst thing for the kids is the loss of two longtime family pets ó rats who responded to their names and were toilet trained.
Richard Kinser, who operates a mobile pressure washing business, met with insurance company representatives Tuesday.
The report of the fire came Saturday night from a cell phone.
The Franklin Fire Department responded, finding two rooms on the first floor fully involved in flames.
John Thomason, fire chief, said it was apparent that the fire started in one of those rooms, a bedroom.
Thomason said there was not an obvious cause.
There was no sign of a break-in .
He contacted the Fire Marshal’s Office to make the determination.