Despite being partially melted from the heat and flames earlier that morning, a smoke detector continued to sound the alarm Wednesday afternoon as firefighters returned to put out a fire that had blazed back up amid the ruins of a house on Pineland Road.
Firefighters from the Kelly-Kelton, Bonham, Jonesville, Lockhart, Phlippi, and Monarch fire departments of Union County and the Asbury Rehoboth Fire Department of Cherokee County were dispatched around 3:2o a.m. Wednesday to 1180 Pineland Road, Union, along with Union County Fire and Rescue. Kelly-Kelton First Captain Jerry Yarborough said when firefighters arrived on the scene the house was rapidly being engulfed by the flames. Despite their best efforts, Yarborough said firefighters were unable to save the building and its contents. He said firefighters were on the scene until 8:30 a.m.
Barely four hours later, Yarborough and some of his fellow Kelly-Kelton firefighters along with firefighters from Jonesville were called back to the scene by the family of the house’s owner who reported the fire was blazing back up inside the building near the front door. In addition to the fire, firefighters were also greeted by the sound of one of the house’s two smoke detectors which was still sounding the alarm despite the damage done by the flames. Firefighters would be on the scene for approximately 40 minutes before the resurgent flames were finally extinguished.
Yarborough said the fire reignited in a “hot spot” that firefighters were unable to find when they were first on the scene. He added that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
One thing firefighters did not have to do on their second trip to the site was rescue the house’s occupants.
Lesley Kingsmore said the house belonged to her grandmother, Hazel Minor, who was home when the fire began. Kingsmore said Roger Harris, her great-uncle and her grandmother’s brother, was spending the night at his sister’s when the fire broke out. She said both were trapped by the fire and had to be rescued by firefighters and deputies with the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
Yarborough said Deputy Brandon Vaughan and Sgt. Jeff Wright, along with Kelly-Kelton firefighter Brooks Lee pulled Minor and Harris out through a bedroom window at the front of the house. Kingsmore said her grandmother and great-uncle were given oxygen by emergency personnel for smoke inhalation but were otherwise uninjured.
Minor is currently staying with her daughter and Kingsmore’s mother, Debbie Lominack, while Harris is staying at his home.
Kingsmore, who along with several family members discovered the fire blazing back up and called 911, said her grandmother’s house is a total loss. In addition to the house, Kingsmore said the fire also destroyed all the contents of the building including a car, a truck, two dirt bikes and all of her grandmother’s personal belongings.