Fires keep departments busy

West Buncombe – Two house fires in two days has kept the West Buncombe Fire Department busy as the Christmas holiday draws closer. “It’s been a busy day or two,” West Buncombe Fire Chief Randy Ratcliff told the Leader.

The first occurred in the early morning hours of Wednesday (Dec. 19) at a home at 42 Clover Field Road in the Alexander community. The call came in at 4:14 am with the first fire department personnel arriving at 4:25 am. West Buncombe Battalion Chief Dennis Fagnant was the incident commander and reported that the structure was about 30 percent involved when fire crews arrived.

According to Ratcliff, the report stated that five people were in the home at the time of the fire. “The son woke up and saw a fire in and around his closet area…went and got his dad. Woke his dad up and they tried to extinguish it and realized that the fire was bigger than what they could extinguish. So they got out and called 911 and got us on the way,” said Ratcliff. All members of the family got out safely. Ratcliff says that the report had not been completed as to the cause of the fire.

Units from French Broad, Woodfin, Asheville, Leicester, Reynolds, Buncombe County Rescue and Enka assisted with the call. A total of 10 fire and rescue vehicles along with 30 firefighters responded to the call. The last units cleared the scene at 8:04 am.

The second fire was located in the Emma section of West Buncombe’s district at 124 Weiss Road in a single-wide mobile home. According to Chief Ratcliff the fire started in the kitchen from cooking. The call came in at 7:51 am with units arriving on scene at 7:58 am.

Ratcliff said there was smoke damage throughout the structure and fire damage was limited to the kitchen area. No one was injured during the fire, with only one person in the home at the time the fire broke out.

The last unit cleared the call at 8:45 am. Nine emergency vehicles were dispatched with 22 personnel on the scene. Other departments that responded to the call were the same as the first call, with the exception of Reynolds.

By Clint


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