Published in News on May 4, 2005 1:49 PM
Assistant chief reports fire
Assistant Fire Chief Gary Whaley was driving up South Center Street to the downtown headquarters station Tuesday and said he saw smoke a block away.
“It just didn’t look right,” Whaley said today. “I went there, investigated it and saw smoke coming from the building.”
Whaley called in the fire to 911 telecommunicators who dispatched fire trucks to the old Weil’s Furniture Co. building in the 600 block of South John Street.
An employee at the adjacent Harvey Fertilizer plant told Whaley that someone had been welding scrap metal. The assistant chief said he believed that a spark hit a rubber conveyor belt, the belt smoldered and caught on fire. Thirteen firefighters answered the 3:31 call.
Whaley said the building had been donated to the Habitat for Humanity chapter. The building’s value had not been determined. But nothing of value was damaged, he said.
About a half-hour later, a bathroom ceiling fan shorted out at the Department of Social Services annex at 1916 N. U.S. 117 Bypass. Debris dropped on a plastic toilet and set it on fire, Whaley said. Damages were estimated at $2,000.
Thirteen firefighters answered both calls with three engines, a ladder and a command car. They needed about an hour to put out the fires, investigate the causes and finish salvage work.
Break-in foiled with an arrest
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office solved a residential break-in Thursday when three employees at Goldsboro Milling Co. detained a suspicious person who was arrested and charged.
One employee, Nivardus Ansems, told sheriff’s deputies that he had been called by a supervisor about the suspicious man wandering near employee mobile homes on Thoroughfare Road.
Ansems and the other two employees detained the man, because he had property sticking out of his coat pocket, the report said.
Sheriff’s Deputy Chuck Schaeffer and C-shift Sgt. Carter Hicks responded and were assisted by Deputy Angie Blizzard and Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team Deputy Jerry Maxwell.
Six packs of cigarettes, a $100 Mexican gold coin, chewing gun and $2 in change were recovered, deputies said. The property, valued at $133, belonged to Jose Ernesto Torres, a resident.
Ramiro Torres Ponce, 26, of Wendell was charged with breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods. He was placed in the Wayne County Jail in lieu of a $40,000 secured bond on the three felony charges.
A woman passenger said she was robbed Tuesday by a knife-wielding woman driver on a dirt path near Foxfire Estates, according to a Wayne County Sheriff’s Office report.
Rhonda Hood, 41, of Pikeville told deputies that she was riding with a woman at 7:25 p.m. when the suspect stopped, brandished the knife and stole a pocketbook, a purse with $5.50, medicine and personal papers. The stolen property was valued at $121.
The robber was described as white, 5-feet-5 and 115 pounds with a slim build, short dark brown hair and dark brown eyes.
Three people were injured and damages were estimated at $12,000 Tuesday in three traffic collisions in Goldsboro, police reported.
•A driver was injured and damages were estimated at $8,500 in a three-vehicle collision at 3:10 p.m. Tuesday at North Herman and East Beech streets, Goldsboro police said. Keith Allen King, 36, of Beech Street was treated and released from Wayne Memorial Hospital, a spokeswoman said. Another motorist, Robert Bryan Cunio, 24, of Camp Lejeune, was charged with a stoplight violation. The report said Cunio’s northbound sport utility vehicle collided with an eastbound van driven by Joanna S. Thompson, 36, of Maplewood Drive, and the impact sent the van into King’s westbound car.
•A three-week-old infant was injured in a two-vehicle crash at 2:18 p.m. Tuesday at North Madison Avenue and an entrance to Sunrise Shopping Center, police said. Annanyah De’asia Coley of Charles Street was released after emergency-room treatment. She was riding with Sherelle J. Hardy, 18, of Charles Street. The other driver who was leaving the shopping center, Fred Lemuel Overman, 65, of Sleepy Hollow Road, Fremont, was charged with a safe-movement violation. Damages were set at $1,500.
•A driver from Goldsboro was injured in a two-car wreck at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday on Wayne Memorial Drive near an exit to Dr. M.L. King Jr. Expressway, the U.S. 70 bypass, police said. Judith B. Pridgen, 48, of Wayne Memorial Drive was released after emergency-room treatment. She also was charged with a safe-movement violation. Police said her westbound car collided with a southbound auto driven by Belinda Fay Stukes, 42, of Daughtry Field Road, Mount Olive. Damages were put at $2,000.
Three antique black-powder rifles, a German World War II rifle, another rifle, a shotgun, a handgun and a safe with personal papers were stolen between Sunday and Tuesday from a home in the 800 block of Park Avenue, Goldsboro police said.
The resident, A.G. Humphries, put a $2,440 value on the stolen goods. A television also was stolen but recovered, the report said.
Wayne County authorities also are investigating these reports:
•A woman grocery shopper, Kristie N. Crabtree of Pikeville, said $900 was stolen Tuesday from a bank envelop, police said. She said she felt a tug of her pocketbook as she passed a young Hispanic couple. The two people then fled from the parking lot in the 1000 block of North Spence Avenue.
•Fifteen DVDs and video-game equipment were stolen Tuesday from a home in the 100 block of Louisville Drive, sheriff’s deputies said. The thief had damaged a door to get the items. The resident, Chadwick Bryan Smith, estimated the value of the stolen property at $375 and damage at $100.
•A compact disc player was stolen between Monday and Tuesday after a car window was smashed in the Goldsboro Housing Authority parking lot at 700 N. Jefferson Ave., police said. The owner, Wayne Hill, put a $300 value on the player. Damage was put at $350.
•A 17-horsepower Bolens riding lawn mower was stolen Tuesday from a carport in the 300 block of Neil Street, police said. The resident, Shroeder Bowden, said the mower was worth $1,069.
A Mitsubishi Galant, reported stolen Sunday, was found destroyed by fire at Buckhorn Road and Bryan Boulevard, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Mar Mac volunteer firefighters responded Tuesday night to a citizen’s 911 call to a possible woods fire and found the car. Erica White of Winnsboro, S.C., had reported that her car was stolen in Goldsboro.
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