Investigation Continues into Salisbury, N.C. Lumber Yard Fire


Details are slowly emerging as the investigation into the deaths of two Salisbury firefighters continues.

On Tuesday, the medical examiner released causes of death for both men who died after fighting a massive fire at Salisbury Millwork on Friday. According to preliminary autopsy results, both 19-year-old Justin Monroe and 40-year-old Victor Isler died of heat exhaustion and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents from Washington are heading up the investigation into the fire at the site on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Investigators are poring over Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection reports for the building.

The most recent, completed in 2002, cited 14 violations with one considered serious -- meaning it could cause death. Some of the other less serious charges included problems with a fire escape plan and missing or broken fire extinguishers.

ATF agents hope the records and the rubble left where the building once stood will help them figure out what caused the deadly blaze.

Meanwhile, volunteer firefighters from across the Charlotte area are covering fire calls in Salisbury to allow the fire department time to mourn.

"When something like this happens, we come together and do what we got to do," said Stan Stafford, a firefighter from Greensboro who's helping out.

"You hate for this to happen, but it's just part of the job sometimes," said Charlotte firefighter G.W. Queen, who stopped by the fire scene.

Queen answered a call in Salisbury on Tuesday that turned out to be a false alarm, but he and other firefighters said they never know which call will take them into a burning building.

Funerals for the two firefighters will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Dearborne Chapel at Catawba College on Innes Street. Parking will be limited at the services, so Catawba College is providing shuttles from three locations in Salisbury.

Free shuttle service will be available from the Salisbury Mall, from the Ketner Center on West Innes Street and also from the VA Medical Center on Brenner Avenue. That shuttle service starts at noon.

Visitation for Isler will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at Lyerly Funeral Home on South Main Street in Salisbury. The visitation for Monroe will take place Wednesday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Miller Ferry Volunteer Fire Department on Long Ferry Road in Salisbury.

Monroe will be buried at Rowan Memorial Park. Isler will be buried in New York.

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