Firefighter breaks foot battling blaze

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

Staff report

An Ellis Cross Country firefighter broke his left foot while battling a blaze Tuesday night.

Thurmond “Chip” Wells fell over some cross ties while pulling a hose with Justin Ridenhour behind a burning mobile home at 1520 Seventh Street Ext., according to Assistant Chief Charles Wetmore.

Wells was treated and released from Rowan Regional Medical Center. He will be in a walking cast while he heals.

Robert West and Joe McIntyre were asleep at the house when they were awakened by smoke. Wetmore said the first call of fire came in at 11:52 p.m. Tuesday. Spencer Police got to the scene and the Ellis Cross Country crews were assisted by Franklin and Spencer firefighters.

McIntyre was also suffering breathing problems, Wetmore said, adding that one of the concerns for firefighters was a report that one of the residents used oxygen and had tanks in the mobile home. McIntyre didn’t require hospitalization.

Wetmore said Jeff Youngblood, an investigator with the Salisbury Fire Department, determined the likely cause of the fire was an electrical malfunction from multiple plugs connected in the kitchen area. Walter Hoover owns the mobile home, which was destroyed.

The Red Cross was assisting the residents.