Gold Knob Road home destroyed by fire

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Betty Morgan is grateful she was not at her Gold Knob Road home when a fire erupted just after lunchtime Monday.

Morgan, 80, a retired school teacher, was having lunch with former classmates at Johnny’s Barbecue restaurant in Rockwell at the time.

Multiple fire departments responded around 12:47 p.m. to the fire at 1135 Gold Knob Road, just outside Rockwell.

“I came home from eating lunch and saw it engulfed,” Morgan said.

She’s lived in the home since 1956.

Morgan said she saw fire trucks go by while in the restaurant, but never dreamt the trucks were heading to her house.

Fire officials have not confirmed a cause of fire at this time. The home was destroyed by fire and water.

Morgan, who remained calm at the scene, said she was happy she was not home. Morgan sometimes watches her son Patrick’s dogs, but the dogs were not at the home.

Many of Morgan’s neighbors rushed to the scene to check on her and others stood with her at the scene as firefighters tackled the fire.

One neighbor, Jerry Poole, rushed to the house because he wasn’t sure if Morgan was inside.

When he didn’t see her car in the garage, he said, he knew she wasn’t home.

A U.S. Postal worker first spotted the fire and called for help, a neighbor said.

Other onlookers and friends of the family stopped by the home to check on Morgan. There was a mixture of cars and more than a dozen fire trucks that lined Gold Knob Road.

Firefighters in tanker trucks shuttled water to the scene from one of the closest fire hydrants, at the corner of Sides Road and Trexler Street.

When firefighters arrived on the scene most of the fire was burning from the attic, said Rockwell Rural Fire Chief Allen Cress.

Cress said the angles in the roof made it nearly impossible for fire crews to reach the fire.

“The roof angles trapped the fire. We couldn’t get to where the fire was,” he said.

When firefighters could no longer get to the fire with ease, a ladder truck was pulled closer to the home. A firefighter climbed atop the ladder truck and manned a hose that sprayed water on top of the house.

The following agencies responded to the scene: Rockwell City, Rockwell Rural, Gold Hill, Faith, Locke, Liberty, South Salisbury, Union, Granite Quarry fire departments and the Rowan County Rescue Squad. The Rowan County Chapter of the American Red Cross also responded.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.