North Rowan High roof catches fire during repair

Published 12:50 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

SPENCER — Fire crews responded to North Rowan High School on Wednesday morning after someone reported a fire on the roof.

A repair crew had been working on the roof for a couple of weeks. Fire officials said they believe the cause of the fire is related to that work.

The roof material was smoldering, and fire personnel had to cut around it to put the fire out, said Spencer Fire Chief Gray Grubb.

Spencer firefighters went into the cafeteria and found a strong odor of something burning. Salisbury firefighters responded as well and went onto the roof to check it. Fire crews found a 5-foot square where crews were doing “hot” work around a drain or vent.

Grubb described the fire as a small one. It didn’t take long to extinguish it, he added.

“Once we got on the roof and found where it was coming from, it took 10 minutes. We didn’t hardly use any water,” Grubb said.

He said if there had not been anyone in the building or if the fire had started at night, firefighters would have been looking at a totally different situation.

“It probably would’ve been bad,” he said.

The Spencer, Salisbury, Ellis, Miller’s Ferry, Granite and Union fire departments responded as did the Rowan County Rescue Squad.

Grubb said anytime there is a potential for a large fire in a building as big as the school, there is always a large response from area departments as an automatic mutual-aid situation.

School employees evacuated the building, but there was little smoke in the cafeteria so fire officials let go back in soon.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.