Overheated candles cause of fire on Bringle Ferry Road

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

Staff Writer

Fire caused by overheated candles damaged the kitchen of a home at 3460 Bringle Ferry Road around 12:50 p.m. Thursday.

The Union Fire Department responded quickly and knocked down the flames before they could reach into the attic of the yellow brick house, Interim Fire Marshal Chris Lyerly said.

The Union firefighters got help from Granite Quarry, Miller Ferry, Liberty and Salisbury firefighters, and the Red Cross assisted the three people renting the house.

Bonnie and Charles Johnson and Bonnie’s mother, Deanna Cherry, had rented the house after moving here from Texas, Lyerly said. The house belongs to Marshall Beck of Davie County.

Bonnie and Charles Johnson, who live on the top floor, were not home at the time of the fire. Cherry lives in the basement and was home at the time.

Three candles in jars were left on a stone cooking sheet on the kitchen stove upstairs. The stove burner had been turned on to melt the candles — for the aroma — without using an open flame, Lyerly said.

The candles overheated and ignited, which caused the stove top to ignite and catch the wooden cabinets above the stove on fire.

Deanna Cherry heard the beeping of a smoke detector and ran upstairs to find smoke and flames.

She tried unsuccessfully to put the fire out, but the flames spread to the kitchen curtains and Cherry called 911.

Cherry credited Union firefighters with a “good, quick attack” that stopped the fire and limited burn damage to the kitchen. There was “moderate smoke damage” to the house.

Some pet birds and a dog were inside the house, and “as far as I know, they all escaped,” Lyerly said.

Red Cross officials were helping family members while they arranged to have their clothes and the house cleaned, Lyerly said.