Flames damage Spencer apartment

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 27, 2014

SPENCER — Fire caused significant damage to an apartment unit at 500 Fourth St. Sunday night, but no one was hurt.
Quick action by Spencer Police officers and responding fire departments kept the fire from spreading to the other four apartments on the corner of Fourth Street and South Iredell Avenue.
Terry Smith, assistant fire chief for Spencer, said there was heavy fire damage in at least one room of the apartment.
Neighbors who saw flames and smoke coming from the unit called in the fire.
The renters were not at home. A neighbor in one of the other apartments said up to six people lived in the fire-damaged unit.
Smith said Spencer Police officers were first to arrive and emptied their cars’ fire extinguishers until help could arrive.
Fourth Street neighbors Howard White and Spencer Alderman Reid Walters confirmed the quick actions of police. Officer Wayne Comer sprayed his extinguisher onto flames through a front window that already was broken, they said.
“It would have been worse if Wayne hadn’t done that,” White said.
From his vantage point across the street, Walters said firefighters seemed to put out the fire “relatively quick, as fast as they could,” before flames could extend toward the roof.
Smith said he wasn’t sure what caused the fire. The Rowan County Fire Marshall’s office was called in to investigate.
Spencer, Miller’s Ferry, Salisbury, Ellis Cross Country and the Rowan Rescue Squad were among departments responding.
The fire occurred about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.