04/20/04 — Goldsboro Fire Department reports six major fires in March

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Goldsboro Fire Department reports six major fires in March

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 20, 2004 2:02 PM

The Goldsboro Fire Department went to six major structure fires among the 177 calls that it answered in March, Chief Bobby Greenfield wrote in his monthly report.

The six fires caused an estimated $125,700 in damages. No injuries were reported.

Fires struck one family twice in the month. The Jefferson Corner Grocery Store at 107 Riway St. was heavily damaged March 5 in a fire caused by clothing piled on a power cord under a front window. A fire on March 31 damaged a family member's home, behind the store, at 1002 N. James St. Unattended cooking was blamed.

Rachel Jefferson and her family had operated the grocery store for 15 years, and their business went up in smoke in about three hours. At the time, Ms. Jefferson said she did not have insurance and wondered how she would pay her bills.

Damage was estimated at $15,000 to the store and $20,000 to the contents. The store was valued at $25,000 and contents were valued at $50,000.

Less than four weeks later, tragedy struck the family again. A child, about 13 years old, Greenfield said, had put food on the stove, heard a commotion down the street, went outside to see what it was and then returned to find the house on fire.

Damage to the home and contents was estimated at $45,000. The home and contents were valued at $65,000.

Three other fires were called suspicious and referred to Goldsboro police for further investigation.

A fire on March 27 destroyed a vacant home at 901 Greenleaf St. The value of the home and contents was put at $22,200.

A house fire on March 24 at 702 Holland Drive had been set, police officials said. A resident had come home and discovered the fire in the one-floor, brick home. The home, owned by Linwood Sauls, was valued at $148,000, and contents were valued at $91,000. Damage was put at $2,100.

When firefighters responded to a call March 11, they found two small fires in a vacant building at 501 N. Carolina St. Damage was estimated at $1,000. The building was valued at $30,000.

The three fire are still being investigated by police.

Another Goldsboro business was damaged March 10 in a fire. A deep fryer overheated, filled with grease and caught fire, damaging the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop at 2601 E. Ash St.

An automatic extinguisher over the fryer was activated because of the fire and contained the blaze. Firefighters then ventilated the smoke-filled store. Damages were set at $20,400. The building and contents were valued at $800,000.

Greenfield also said Fire Department personnel took part in 554 hours of company training and 2,149 hours of individual training.

Department drills were held in rescue skills and hazardous materials. Company training was conducted in Stokes basket rigging, equipment operations, sprinkler skills, tandem pumping, building construction, hydrant locations, standard operating guidelines review, personal protective equipment skills, victim rescue, ropes and friction loss.

To promote fire safety, department personnel also displayed the fire safety house, conducted fire station tours and made career talks to schools and day cares in Goldsboro.