Suspicious burn turns debris into ashes

Published 7:22 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

By Staff
Officials investigating fire near Pinetown, off Terra Ceia Road
Staff Writer
Firefighters spent Monday night and much of Tuesday fighting a suspect fire that consumed a pile of housing debris off Terra Ceia Road near Pinetown.
Fire officials and air-quality experts with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources are investigating the fire, said Beaufort County Fire Marshal Curtis Avery. The fire’s origins have been deemed suspicious, Avery said.
The debris that burned formed a pile 130 feet long, 30 feet wide and 15 feet high, Avery said. The debris came from houses demolished near Belhaven, he said.
Avery said he received his first call about the fire at about 9 p.m. Monday. At 4 p.m. Tuesday, he said the fire continued to burn in several spots.
It took plenty of man-hours and water to extinguish the fire, he said, and an excavator. The heavy machinery was brought in so firefighters could get at the bottom of the pile, where debris continued to smolder.
The Pantego Volunteer Fire Department and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office responded to the fire.