Home of 15 years burned

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 7, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — A family will be living in a motor home temporarily after fire damaged their home on East Ridge Road on Tuesday afternoon.
Phil Leonard, his wife Patricia, and 15-year-old daughter Britney had been living in the home at 2208 East Ridge Road for more than 15 years.
Patricia Leonard had been organizing a building on their property when she went home to cool off and grab a drink.
“I saw smoke coming out of the roof so I tried to go in the front door, but the house was full of smoke,” she said.
The fire started in a bedroom. The cause hasn’t been determined. The Rowan County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.
Firefighters from the Ellis Cross Country Volunteer Fire Department contained the blaze to one end of the home and extinguished it within a few minutes, but smoke damage throughout the house has made it uninhabitable, Chief Jeff Whitley said.
“The damage is pretty extensive,” Whitley said.
Phil Leonard said the family had just finished remodeling the inside of the home and had planned to start work on the outside next.
The Leonards said they would stay in their motor home until they find a place to rent.
“I guess we’ll get everything out and let the fire department burn it down for training,” Phil Leonard said. “There’s no saving it.”
The Leonards did not have insurance.
Whitley said the hot weather coupled with the heat from the fire inside the home forced him to rotate small teams of firefighters in and out of the house frequently. Firefighters remained on the scene at least an hour after the fire was contained to ensure the fire would not reignite.
One firefighter sustained a minor injury when he slipped and fell through the porch. He received treatment from Rowan EMS.
Salisbury, Franklin, Spencer, Miller’s Ferry and the Rowan County Rescue Squad also responded to the scene.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.