Landis woman burned when fire starts in wall
By Jessie Burchette
LANDIS ó Quick action Monday morning by a Landis woman may have saved the home she was living in.
Clara Jane Leffew, who is in her 60s, sustained minor burns to her hands when she took a smoldering oil lamp off a fire mantel.
Leffew called 911 shortly before 10:30 a.m. to report a fire and continued to pour water on the wall around the fire mantel and wood stove.
As Landis firefighters arrived at 639 Kimball Road, Leffew was coming out the door of the smoke filled house.
Firefighters from Landis, China Grove, Kannapolis, Enochville and Atwell departments responded to the fire, which was a short distance off Kimball Road, east of Grant’s Creek.
Firefighters quickly located the fire in the wall near the stove and in the attic.
Reed Linn, chief of the Landis Fire Department, said one room of the house and the attic sustained considerable damage.
Linn planned to offer Leffew temporary housing assistance from the American Red Cross, but Leffew said she wanted to stay in the house Monday night.
With utilities cut off because of the fire, it was uncertain if that would be possible.
Linn said firefighters would cover the hole cut in the roof and get as much of the water out as possible.
James Kimball, owner of the rental house, also arrived on the scene to help.
Leffew said she had a small painted oil lamp on the mantel, and noticed that the paint on the lamp started smoking and burning.
She expressed surprise, saying the fire in the wood stove wasn’t that hot.
She told Linn she was going to clean off the fire mantel and wouldn’t keep anything there in the future.
With her hands covered in some type of calamine type substance, Leffew turned her focus on getting her house ready for a chilly night.
“I’ll be fine,” she told firefighters.