Woman suffers smoke inhalation at Granite Quarry house fire

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 31, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
GRANITE QUARRY – Fire officials have been unable to determine the cause of a Thursday fire at South Oak Street.
The fire began at 11:28 a.m. at 303 S. Oak St., just off Rowan Street.
Zelma Alston was on the front porch of her family home when she smelled smoke. When she looked into the house she saw smoke billowing from the one-story house that her father, James E. Alston, built.
Rowan County EMS gave Alston oxygen and monitored her at the scene. The fire was under control shortly after noon.
Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Mark Troublefield said the fire started in a bedroom, but they could not determine what caused it.
Alston’s brother, Clarence Alston, who also lives at the home, had left earlier that morning and returned around the time of the fire.
Officer M.C. Milette with the Granite Quarry-Faith Joint Police Authority said he arrived on the scene to heavy smoke coming from the roof. Fire crews arrived shortly after Milette reached the home.
The house is located across the street from Tri-State Corp., an aluminum railing manufacturer, and sits at the corner of Rowan Street.
Co-owner Russell Waddell said he and co-owner Mark Honeycutt were unloading materials at the back of their company when they heard an explosion.
Waddell said when he looked toward the house he saw smoke coming from the air conditioning window unit on the side of the house. The force from the smoke and fire blew the window out, he said.
Waddell and Honeycutt went over to the house. As Waddell and Honeycutt approached the front door, the two homeowners were leaving the house.
Waddell called 911 and helped the family move their vehicles away from the house, he said.
The fire was knocked down fairly quickly said Public Safety Director and Town Manager Dan Peters.
Her father, James Alston, built the house in 1948, Zelma said.
“I grew up in this house,” she said.
The home was destroyed, but the owners were able to save some personal belongings, Troublefield said.
The following agencies responded: Granite Quarry, Faith, Rockwell City, Salisbury City and Union fire departments. The Rowan County Rescue Squad, Rowan County EMS and Granite Quarry-Faith Joint Police Authority.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.