04/17/17 — Dog survives house fire in Mount Olive

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Dog survives house fire in Mount Olive

By Joey Pitchford
Published in News on April 17, 2017 5:48 PM

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Home owner Joshua Chrisman carries his dog Scruffy away from 111 S. Church St. after firefighters were unsuccessful in their rescue attempts. Chrisman was allowed to enter the house to retrieve the dog from a hiding space under a bed.

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The fire spread to the attic and continued to burn, forcing crews to climb the roof and ventilate using chain saws and axes.

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Firefighters from Mount Olive and Oak Wolfe fire departments spray fire retardant foam into a large hole in the roof of a home located at 111 S. Church St. in Mount Olive.

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Firefighters from Calypso, Dudley, Faison, Mount Olive, Oak Wolfe, and Smith Chapel fire departments were present at a house fire located at 111 S. Church St. in Mount Olive Monday afternoon.

A Mount Olive man returned from work to find his house on fire Thursday.

It took firefighters from six departments to contain the blaze.

Just before 2 p.m., the Mount Olive Fire Department responded to a house fire at 111 S. Church St. They found the home with much of the inside on fire, including the attic area, said Mount Olive Fire Chief Greg Wiggins.

"It started in the northwest corner of the building, and that was a bathroom," he said. "The fire started inside the wall, but I am not certain yet why it started."

Homeowner Joshua Crisman found his house on fire after returning from work, he said. Crisman's cousin and dog, named Scruffy, were inside the building at the time, and only the cousin had made it out.

Crisman attempted to go in to the still-burning house to find his dog, but Wiggins said it was not safe enough to go in. Instead, a firefighter attempted to rescue the animal, but had to back off when Scruffy bit his hand.

Once the flames inside the house had been controlled, Crisman was able to go inside escorted by firefighters. He returned a few minutes later holding a visibly frightened but unharmed Scruffy.

Firefighters from the Mount Olive, Oak Wolfe, Smith Chapel, Dudley, Calypso and Faison fire departments responded. Engines blocked off the street from all directions as firefighters worked to contain the blaze.

A large crater was left in the roof after the fire weakened the ceiling beneath it, causing it to collapse. Wiggins said that firefighters opened up several other holes in the roof to let some of the heat escape. They had to open up other holes as well to get water into the burning home.

 No other buildings nearby were damaged, and no one was injured. Wiggins approximated the value of the home at $80,000 and the contents at $30,000, and that around 50 percent of the home was lost.