Fire destroys Washington home

Published 9:29 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Washington home was destroyed Wednesday morning after accumulated gas fumes from a hot water heater ignited and set the house ablaze.

Washington EMS arrived first at the Pinetree Drive home to lend assistance to the homeowner who was burned while trying to light the pilot on a hot water heater. Shortly afterward, Clark’s Neck Volunteer Fire Department called on fire departments in Washington and Old Ford to help control the blaze.

“We were initially paged for the EMS unit to go out there,” said Lt. Robbie Taylor, of Washington’s Fire Station No. 2. “But once Clark’s Neck got on scene, they called for us to bring the fire truck too.”

“The accumulated gas ignited — it was a hot fire from that and it just progressed from there,” Taylor said.

Firefighters from the three departments battled the blaze for approximately half an hour before it was contained, only to have it flare back up again in the afternoon, according to Autumn Mihm, director of communications with the American Red Cross, Eastern NC Region.

By Wednesday afternoon, a local Red Cross team had met with the fire victim, Mike Woolard, and provided lodging, food, clothing and additional referrals.

“The whole house is pretty much destroyed,” said Taylor said, adding that the walls were still standing after the fire had been extinguished, but not much else.

Woolard was treated and released from Vidant-Beaufort Hospital.