Two-alarm fire in Landis

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2011

By Shelley Smith
LANDIS — The two-alarm fire that gutted the home of Tony and Tammy Wise this morning at 213 W. Hoke St. quickly ripped through the two-story home, spreading from the first floor to the second and then to the attic.
When firefighters arrived, they entered the home, aggressively knocking down the fire on the first floor, moved onto the second, but because of renovations to the second floor, they were unable to find the entrance to the attic, Landis Fire Chief Reed Linn said on the scene.
Firefighters then fought the fire defensively, on all four sides of the home, and by use of a ladder truck. The home’s roof partially collapsed.
Linn said the high winds contributed to the spread of the fire, and because the home was older construction, there were no fire stops to help delay the spread of the fire into other rooms.
Thick black smoke could be seen throughout town, blown by the wind. Visibility down Hoke Street at one point was only about 100 yards. The fire was so hot it could be felt for a distance.
The first alarm brought Landis, China Grove, Kannapolis, Enochville and Atwell fire departments. The second alarm brought in firefighters from Mount Mitchell, Bostian Heights, Locke and South Salisbury departments.
No firefighters were injured, but a few had their vital signs checked by a paramedic on scene.
No one was home at the time of the fire. The family’s dog, Kapri, was inside a fence in the back yard, but a neighbor was able to save her from the fire.
The Wises have lived in the home for nearly 24 years, and did have insurance. They lived there with one of their four daughters. One of their daughters is in college, one lives in Texas, and the other is married and lives with her family in Rowan County.
Tony Wise works in China Grove at his father’s shop, Wise Oil Company. Tammy Wise is a teacher at China Grove Elementary. Both were at work when they heard their house was on fire.
Tony was able to save two guitars, one his father gave him more than 20 years ago, along with a banjo. The family hopes everything else wasn’t lost in the fire.
“I’m sick,” Tammy Wise said. “All of the pictures and videos of my girls throughout their whole lives…
“I’m just so thankful nobody was in there. It could have happened last night when we were asleep.”
The family will be staying with relatives in the area.