Cigarette likely cause of morning Old Beatty Ford Road fire
By Shavonne Walker
ROCKWELL — A cigarette is likely the cause of an early-morning structure fire in Rockwell, fire officials said Frida.
Multiple agencies responded at 7:15 a.m. Friday to 6925 Old Beatty Ford Road, where they spoke with the owner, Robert Ashby.
He told firefighters that he thinks he fell asleep in his recliner with a lit cigarette that caught the chair on fire. He woke up to a fire and tried to extinguish it himself with water, but he made it worse, said Bostian Heights Fire Chief Mike Zimmerman.
Ashby was not injured, but he lost many of his belongings housed in the metal building where he lived. He had no insurance, Zimmerman said.
The Hanford Dole chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting him.
No firefighters were injured during the two-alarm fire, but Rowan EMS did respond to monitor firefighters.
In addition to the Bostian Heights Fire Department, the Rowan County Rescue Squad and fire departments including China Grove, South Salisbury, Locke, Rockwell Rural, Rockwell city, Faith and Rimer responded.
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.