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North Street Home Destroyed by Thursday Fire

No one was home when the fire started, and Wilmington firefighters are still looking into the cause of the flames.

A Thursday afternoon fire that took several hours for firefighters to control destroyed a North Street home. Though there was heavy damage to the property, no one was home when the flames began and the family’s two cats escaped harm.

Deputy Chief Rick McClellan said it is unclear at this time what caused the fire, which started just after 11 a.m. One firefighter was transported from the scene early on, but Fire Chief Ed Bradbury received confirmation about one hour later that he suffered only an ankle sprain.

A neighbor called in the fire, and firefighters were quickly on scene. But by the time they arrived, flames had completely engulfed the structure. McClellan said crews had a hard time getting into the house initially, and were unsure if anyone was inside.

“Our main concern from the very beginning was that we had a very difficult time gaining access because of the volume of the fire,” said McClellan. “The homeowner returned home while we were fighting the fire, which allowed us to put our efforts towards putting the fire out instead of search and rescue.”

Once firefighters knocked down the flames, there was still a large volume of smoke pouring from every angle of the property. Firefighters simultaneously were spraying the left side of the home along with the rear and right side.

The roof of a carport fell onto the roof of a van on the right side of the home, and the vehicle appeared to be destroyed as well.

By about 2 p.m., firefighters had the situation largely under control, though some smoke continued to rise out of the roof. Firefighters packed up most of their hoses, while one set of firefighters continued to douse hot spots inside the house.

McClellan said when the homeowner arrived at his house about 20 minutes after the fire started, he saw his two cats out on the front lawn, so he knew his pets escaped safely.

The house, however, was destroyed.

“He was pretty devastated,” said McClellan. “The house is pretty much totaled. They will not be able to inhabit the building.” 

Check back later Thursday for video from the scene.

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Erika J. December 06, 2012 at 08:22 PM
My thoughts are with the family in this hard time.

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