Firefighter injured in fall at Tuesday fire

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
A firefighter was injured Tuesday morning when he fell through the ceiling of a home on Mid Sail Road in the Anchor Downs subdivision.
The Miller’s Ferry firefighter, Lt. Ken Womble, suffered muscle damage in his shoulder and arm in the 15-foot fall, according to Deborah Horne, an investigator with the Rowan County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Spencer Fire Chief Jay Baker said Womble is a veteran. He and about three others were in the attic when the floor gave way.
Womble was conscious the entire time, Baker said. Initial reports indicated Womble suffered broken bones. However, his injuries were not that severe.
Womble is a former Spencer alderman, having resigned from the board just last month when he moved out of town. At Tuesday night’s board meeting, Mayor Jody Everhart said he was told that Womble was released from the hospital earlier in the day and was home.
“He’ll be sore,” Everhart said.
Fire officials said Womble fell through the rafters, hit a hutch face-first and landed on his back in the home’s dining room.
Horne said the fire originated in the attic crawl space and the cause was electrical.
Womble was airlifted to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
The homeowner, Deb Smith, smelled smoke around 7:30 a.m. as she was heading out for a morning walk. She alerted her husband, Galen, and the two searched for the source of the smoke. When they discovered it was coming from the attic, they called 911.
“We raced through the house and found it upstairs in the attic,” Deb said.
She and her husband were the only two in the house at the time. She said the family bought the house about three and half years ago. They are natives of Arizona. The house was built around 1997.
Smith said she was mostly concerned about the firefighter.
“I’m much more concerned about him. This is fixable,” she said.
Several agencies responded, including the Spencer, East Spencer and Union fire departments and Rowan EMS.
No other injuries were reported.
Damage to the home was confined mainly to the attic area and the dining room ceiling.