03/12/04 — Fire in Stantonsburg

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Fire in Stantonsburg

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on March 12, 2004 2:03 PM

STANTONSBURG -- Flames and smoke engulfed a home for several hours Thursday and nothing was deemed salvageable. The residents watched their home of eight years burn from the back to front.

Kay Riddle was the only one inside the home at 203 S. Main St. She had just started her drier at 2 p.m. in the laundry room in the back of the house. She left for a few minutes and when she returned shortly after, the laundry room was on fire. There were paint cans in the room, which blew up and spurred the fire even more, she said.

Stantonsburg house fire

Bobby Williams

Eight fire departments, including Eureka and Faro from Wayne County, responded to a house fire in Stantonsburg on Thursday. The fire began in the laundry room in the back of the house and continued burning for several hours.

She called 911 immediately and said firefighters responded within five minutes. The volunteer fire departments that responded were Stantonsburg-Moyton, Eureka, Faro, Black Creek, East Nash, Bakertown and Sanoca. Wilson Fire and Rescue, Wilson County EMS and the Wilson County Sheriff's Department also arrived. Three roads were closed and traffic on N.C. 222 was re-routed.

Capt. Jim Talbot with Stantonsburg-Moyton said that when they arrived there was heavy smoke and lots of fire in the back of the house. Some firemen attempted to go inside the home but had to sound the alarm and evacuate because of the fire's intensity, he said.

Two firemen with Stantonsburg-Moyton had minor injuries, one with high blood pressure and another with heat exhaustion.

They tried to put out the fire on the roof by using a 109-foot-tall ladder that rose above the house.

Ms. Riddle's husband, Tom, and two children, Tom, 11, and Kathryn, 16, watched as the firemen worked to put it out from all angles. The children were at school at the time the fire started, she said.

The house was built in 1922 and had a lot of pine wood. She said many of her mother's antiques were inside and were all lost. The family plans to build another home in the same spot.

She hopes people will learn from what happened and will not leave their driers unattended.

"I don't want people to make the same mistake I made," she said.