• 59°

Mooresville fire victim identified, fire still under investigation

By Shavonne Walker


MOORESVILLE — Rowan authorities have identified the victim of a Friday three-alarm fire near the Rowan-Iredell county line. Johnsie Overcash Riley, 92, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials say the fire is still under investigation and have not confirmed whether it was weather-related.

Fire officials were already on the scene when the fire at 155 Yellow Brick Road was noticed, said Rowan County Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford.

He said officials responded to a downed tree on Deal Road. Firefighters reported a disturbance with a property owner in the area and asked for sheriff’s deputies. Responders saw smoke coming from the house deputies were parked in front of while waiting for Duke Energy to arrive to disconnect the power.

Sifford said that house was the site of the fire at Yellow Brick Road. Firefighters who were still in the area saw flames coming from the front of the house and made a quick entry inside it.

Riley was found 10 feet from the door, in her kitchen. The woman was unconscious. Fire and EMS personnel immediately began CPR, Sifford said.

Daughter-in-law Ann Riley, who lived next door, confirmed Johnsie Riley’s identity. Ann Riley told officials she believed her mother-in-law had heart issues, but she wasn’t 100 percent certain of her medical history.

Ann Riley said she’d just talked with her mother-in-law, who said she was about to take a shower. Moments later, Ann Riley saw what she thought was fog, but quickly realized it was smoke coming from Johnsie Riley’s home.

Ann Riley’s son went next door to check and saw “significant flames,” Sifford said.

Sifford said deputies were told by fire personnel that the home had minor damage, but the front of the home was almost completely destroyed.

Neighbors told deputies that shortly before the fire, their own breaker boxes repeatedly began tripping.



BlockWork returns for 10th year of beautification


Big Chili Cook Off changes format, sells 250 tickets


Kiwanis Club names five recipients of Centennial Awards


Rowan County bridge dedicated to local police officer who made ultimate sacrifice


Camp Barnhardt to host drive-in movie, trick-or-treat


Dental deserts: Lack of adequate oral health care across North Carolina


Spicing things up: Mise En Place food truck finds success serving Indian fare


Church foundation distributes record amount of money


Biz Roundup: ‘Forward Rowan’ continues to draw support, raise money


School board set to vote on Faith, Enochville closures Monday


Local health officials worry pandemic will cause long-term effects for children’s health


Ordinance change needed to address night train noise in Salisbury


Election 2020: Heggins, Warren talk racial injustice, economy


Cunningham keeps low in NC Senate race marked by his affair


Two bodies found in home on Lincolnton Road


Man arrested in Kannapolis plotted to kill Biden, found with guns, explosive material, court documents state


Flagger clipped by vehicle, taken to hospital with minor injuries


County finishes week with five deaths, one of 36 to receive letter from state health officials


Salisbury Newsmedia reaches agreement to sell Innes Street building; Post to remain tenant


Blotter: Teens attempt to break into Gerry Wood Auto Group


Man faces arson charges for Kannapolis camper fire


New tenant hopes to lease former K&W Cafeteria building


Trump, Biden go after each other on coronavirus, taxes


County adds three more COVID-19 deaths to total