Firefighters try to save small 1910 home in west Rowan Sunday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
MOUNT ULLA ó Firefighters did their best to save a small wood-frame house on N.C. 801 Sunday afternoon, but the inside of the 1910 structure suffered extensive smoke and fire damage.
“It’s still standing, but it’s pretty much totaled,” West Rowan Fire Chief John Morrison said.
The American Red Cross found hotel lodging in Salisbury Sunday night for Skip Horne, owner of the home at 11525 N.C. 801.
Horne was outside washing his car about 3:58 p.m. when he noticed fire in his back bedroom. He called 911 for help, and four different departments ó pretty much standard procedure for a structure fire ó responded along with the Rowan Rescue Squad.
“My guys did a good job, and all the mutual aid companies did a good job,” Morrison said. “… I thought at one time we might lose it.”
Horne’s home is only about two-tenths of a mile from West Rowan’s Bear Poplar station.
Flames had taken over the bedroom as the first units arrived, and the fire extended throughout the one-story home’s attic.
Firefighters immediately had to rely on portable air packs when they went inside.
“The smoke was really bad,” Morrison said.
The bedroom was destroyed, but firefighters were able to salvage some clothing and other items in the house. Horne lived there by himself, though a daughter in Mooresville sometimes stayed with him.
Morrison said he and the fire marshal’s office suspect a candle that Horne said he may have left burning in his bedroom caused the fire. The damage in the bedroom was too much to say for sure.
As for now, investigators are saying the cause is undetermined.
Cleveland, Atwell and Locke fire departments provided mutual aid.
The home, thought to have its original tin roof, is located near Graham Road.