Wind fans more blazes in Beaufort County

Published 5:38 am Tuesday, February 12, 2008

By Staff
Firefighters still scramble on Monday
Senior Reporter
High winds and dry conditions kept firefighters scrambling through Beaufort County Sunday and Monday.
Avery speculated that a combination of leftover coals from previous fires and strong winds caused by a passing cold front were to blame.
Bunyan Volunteer Fire Department and three others were called out immediately to the Slatestone area, he said.
After about 45 minutes, Avery said a call came in from the River Road area approximately five miles east of Washington.
Shortly after the River Road fire spread, Avery said a barn fire erupted on Waters Road.
Bunyan Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief David Lewis said the fires on Sunday in the Slatestone area of Beaufort County and the River Road area were probably caused by a combination of fierce winds and little sparks of fire from previous fire sites. Some of those same fires flared back up again around 7 p.m. Monday night.
Lewis said Sunday’s intense fire fight from all 15 volunteer fire departments in Beaufort County plus the City of Washington’s Fire Department left smoldering trees, limbs and stumps Monday. Also, he said the fight’s resources included Pinetown Emergency Medical Services, Beaufort County Emergency Management and the N.C. Forestry Service.
Mutual aid units came from Pitt, Craven, Pamlico and Hyde counties to help at some of the fires and to fill empty stations so personnel would be available to respond to other fires.
City of Washington Fire Chief Jimmy Davis said the first call came in at the Washington Fire Department at 12:41 p.m. Sunday to supply mutual aid to Pinetown Fire Department. One engine was dispatched, he said.
At 12:53 p.m., Davis said the second call came in to respond to the River Road fire site, where the Washington Fire Department sent an engine. By 1:15 p.m., Davis said the department’s third call came in from the River Road site and the Washington Fire Department sent its third engine and its aerial truck, which has a connected extension ladder with a basket at the top.
However, he said that Washington’s fire jurisdiction was covered by off-duty personnel, and trucks from the Aurora and Williamston fire departments.
In an unrelated call to the fires in the county, at 4:10 p.m., Davis said a house fire was responded to at 106 Palmer Place in Smallwood. A Washington Fire Department engine and its aerial truck that were returning from another fire responded. In addition, an EMS truck, four support vehicles, a pumper truck and personnel from the Bunyan Volunteer Fire Department responded.
He said it was a kitchen fire where an unattended pot was left on a stove. He said it caused significant damage to the kitchen and dining room and smoke and water damage to the rest of the house.