Shortly before 7 p.m. on Feb. 16, Battleboro Community Volunteer Fire Department fought a structure fire during a steady snow and ice storm as bitterly cold temperatures covered the area. Firefighters said they believe the fire was started by the resident cooking in the kitchen.
The resident was alone and started cooking chicken legs and left the the room to go to the bathroom,” Battleboro Assistant Chief James Hardee said of the fire in the double-wide trailer.
"When he came back and noticed the kitchen on fire he grabbed a trash can full of water and threw it on the wall behind the stove,” Hardee said. “By that time, the smoke was so thick he had to leave the building.” The resident did his best to put the fire out, but to no avail.
"We noticed the fire a mile away,” Hardee said.“When we pulled (up) on the scene flames were coming from the roof." Hardee said the Rocky Mount Fire Department and Whitakers Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the call.
Battleboro's Engine 9 was first in and firefighters pulled two 1 3/4-inch hoselines off. "We made a pretty aggressive attack at the front door. That was at the unburned side of the house and this pushed the heat and fire and flames out the burned side.”
He said firefighters put out the blaze with about 500 gallons of water and it was mainly the kitchen area of the home that was damage and had the fire under control in about 20 minutes.
Firefighters remained on the scene for about two hours checking for hot spots and cleaning up.
The resident was uninjured.
The chief said about 17 of his department’s 24 members responded to the fire.
“It was a little cold,” Hardee said. “ It was a little bit slick on the yard itself. Pulling the hose was a little aggravating. But it was a wet snow. With cleats, we were able to manage.”
“It takes a different individual to contribute time and effort for training and respond in the middle of the night in adverse conditions,” he said.