Hidden damage: Fire burns unoccupied house on Faith Road

Published 12:05 am Friday, August 5, 2022

FAITH — A wood house that is estimated to be more than 90 years old was badly damaged in a Faith Road fire Thursday morning.

Firefighters were called to 5735 Faith Road about 11:20 a.m. for a report of a house on fire, and the first units arriving noted there was smoke and fire showing. Rockwell Rural Fire Department called for mutual aid, and firefighters from Faith, Granite Quarry, Rockwell, Bostian Heights, South Salisbury and Gold Hill responded.

Neighbors who were outside watching said when they first saw smoke and came to investigate, the electrical wires leading to the house were sparking “like fireworks,” said one woman. The front porch and the front of the house, first and second floor, suffered significant damage from fire and then water, firefighters said, but the structure was still standing.

Though she declined to identify him by name, a woman at the scene said her stepfather owns the house, but has not lived there for at least a year and a half due to health issues. She said along with him, she and her siblings have some belongings in the house, but had not managed to get time to come and retrieve them. The house was in difficult condition, she added, but she knew her stepfather had kept the electricity on. She said most important is that no one was hurt.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, said firefighters, but neighbors said there are some issues with drug activity in the area and worried someone might have been smoking in or behind the house.

By 11:50 a.m. the flames were out and firefighters were able to take much-needed breaks from the combined heat of the fire and the outdoor temperatures. A few had mild heat exhaustion but crews had water on hand.

A crew from Duke Energy, which had turned the power off earlier, then moved in and cut the wires between the pole and house and removed them to avoid any additional problems.