03/24/04 — South end of county seemed to be on fire

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South end of county seemed to be on fire

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 24, 2004 2:14 PM

"It looked for a while that the whole south end of the county was on fire."

That's what Mount Olive firefighter Greg Wiggins said today after seven volunteer departments were dispatched at about 1 p.m. Tuesday to structure and woods fires.

A vacant mobile home and several junked vehicles, on a dirt path more than a mile from the nearest paved road, Stanley Chapel Church Road, were destroyed in one fire.

Dudley fire

Bobby Williams

Don Garner, a Dudley volunteer firefighter, works at the scene of a woods fire on Tuesday afternoon between Eagles Nest Road and Sleepy Creek Road. The Dudley and Indian Springs fire departments and the N.C. Forestry Service answered the call.

"The trailer was fully involved when we got there," Wiggins said.

The location of the trailer and the condition of the dirt path made it impossible for the large pumper trucks from the responding four departments to get to the scene. Instead, Wiggins said, Mount Olive, Indian Springs, Pricetown and Arrington firefighters had to use brush trucks, which have about a fourth of the capacity of a pumper, to carry water.

The owner of the home at 354 Stanley Chapel Church Road has not been identified, but neither the home nor the cars had any value, Wiggins said.

The cause of the fire also has not been determined.

However, the firefighters did save a neighboring double-wide mobile home, occupied by Nathaniel Truzy.

The fire occurred in Dudley's district, but at the same time Dudley volunteers were putting out a woods fire between Eagles Nest and Sleepy Creek roads. Indian Springs assisted and then sent several trucks to the mobile home fire. The N.C. Forestry Service also responded to the call.

A few minutes later, a double-wide mobile home at 106 Knollwood Drive was destroyed in a fire that officials say was caused by an electrical short.

The value of the home, owned by Jim Turbyfill, had not been determined.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Susan Miller, who lives across the street and reported the fire.

"It was fully involved when we got there," Assistant Mar Mac Fire Chief Tommy Baker said.

Thirteen Mar Mac firefighters brought three trucks and needed about three hours to put out the fire, investigate the cause and finish salvage work. Grantham assisted with three trucks, and Thoroughfare brought two.

Rosewood firefighters also were dispatched to grass fires on Stevens Mill Road near Blackjack Church Road and on U.S. 70 West near Riverbend Road, according to reports filed with Wayne County Emergency Services.