03/24/13 — Crews respond to Mount Olive house fire

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Crews respond to Mount Olive house fire

By John Joyce
Published in News on March 24, 2013 1:50 AM

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Firefighters from the Mount Olive Fire Department work to cut open and vent the roof of a home at 602 N. Church St., Thursday. The interior fire had been put out but smoke continued to billow from the attic creating concern of a secondary flare-up. No one was injured but the home suffered significant smoke and heat damage.

Crews from four area fire stations were called to the corner of North Church Street and Dail Street in Mount Olive on Thursday after 1 p.m., where they found a working structure fire. Preliminary reports indicated someone might be trapped inside.

Mount Olive Fire Department had command at 602 N. Church St., and were assisted by Indian Springs, Dudley and Calypso Fire Departments. Mount Olive police were on scene to investigate with assistance from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

"The call did come in as somebody possibly trapped inside, but we got there and did a quick knock down on it, the guys were able to do a (preliminary) search but didn't locate anybody," Asst. Chief and Fire Inspector Greg Wiggins said.

About that time, he said, family members started to arrive and confirmed that everyone was safe and accounted for.

Homeowner Camillia Loftin, a carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, was out on her route when she got the call that her house was burning. At first, she said, she did not believe it.

"Nobody was home, thank God," she said.

Her daughter had an early release day from school but had not yet made it home when the fire started.

Ms. Loftin looked on as firefighters worked to ventilate the roof of her single-story corner lot home using a chain saw and ax. Smoke damage was visible where it had swept over the eve above the front door, and in places where it poured through the attic vents along the exterior of the house. All of the windows were broken out.

"There was a lot of heat and smoke damage throughout," Wiggins said.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined due the substantial damage, what Wiggins estimated at a 50 percent loss.