Domestic dispute was reported just before Spencer house fire

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 23, 2012

By Nathan Hardin
SPENCER — Spencer Police investigating a reported domestic disturbance at a Steeplechase Trail home Friday had to call firefighters when they found the house in flames.
A neighbor said she heard a loud noise before the fire, which turned into a two-alarm blaze that caused major damage.
Police officers were dispatched to 430 Steeplechase Trail around 4 p.m. for the domestic dispute, a Rowan County 911 center supervisor said. The officers immediately called for the Spencer Fire Department.
According to Rowan County tax records, the home is owned by Thomas and Sheena Turner.
Spencer Fire Chief Gray Grubb said firefighters found flames coming from the area of the garage. A second alarm was called after fire officials saw the fire had spread to the roof.
As firefighters battled the blaze, thick smoke billowed out from beneath the roof. Firefighters put ladders against the home and used chain saws to cut holes in the roof for ventilation shortly after arriving.
Neighbors watched from their front yards as emergency vehicles lined Steeplechase Trail, a subdivision between U.S. 29 and the Yadkin River in the northern part of Spencer.
Grubb said the home was empty when firefighters arrived. Several family members left with Spencer Police officers while firefighters continued to battle the blaze.
The home appeared to be completely gutted. Firefighters were still spraying hot spots along the roof at 6 p.m. and Rowan Fire Marshal Tom Murphy said he had not yet been able to go inside the home to investigate.
Murphy could not be reached by phone Friday evening.
Neighbors said they heard a loud boom shortly before hearing fire sirens from the street.
Next door neighbor Rose Taylor said it sounded like “something fell down,” but she didn’t go outside until she saw emergency vehicles.
“I heard a boom and then I heard a firetruck,” she said. “I didn’t check on the boom. I thought it was at the back of my house.”
Grubb said fire units from Salisbury, South Salisbury, Miller’s Ferry, Ellis, Franklin, Union and East Spencer responded. The Rowan Rescue Squad and Rowan EMS also assisted.
Calls to the Spencer Police Department and Spencer Police Chief Michael James were not returned Friday evening.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.