By Clint Parker
Weaverville – An early morning fire on Thursday morning (Jan 24) destroyed a home on Longs Chapel Road. Weaverville Fire Department was the lead agency on the call and Battalion Chief Ray Blackwell told the Tribune that the house was a total loss.
“Pretty much the video you saw is what we had when we pulled up,” said Blackwell. “That’s what the structure looked liked when we got there.” Blackwell said they received the call around 2:40 am Thursday and that it was a single family home.
“The resident was not there. She had spent the night with a relative, I think she said her mother, I think,” he added. “She did have some pets. One pet did not make it.” According to Blackwell there were at least two pets in the home at the time of the fire and that the remains of one were found in the remnants of the home. Both pets were cats and Blackwell said they believe the other cat got out, “…she’s not been able to find it.”
Blackwell said the fire was called in by a neighbor. The Tribune received a message from a neighbor who said, “So…around 2:45 am [I] heard a loud pop, then shortly after the fire started. So just a few minutes after, looked out the window at a glow and saw the house engulfed in flames. This was right before [the] fire department arrived on the scene.”
Mutual aid was given by Woodfin, Reems Creek, City of Asheville and Jupiter Fire Departments. “Later on into the call, just for manpower, to let our personnel rehab, I call[ed] West Buncombe and Leicester Fire Departments also,” said Blackwell.
He said the structure received, “…heavy damage involved in it when we arrived. Like I said, what you saw in the video, the front of it, the side and the fire had made it up into the attic and had run all away across the roof and the attic area… what the fire didn’t get the smoke and the water did get.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, said Blackwell, and directed the Tribune to contact Weaverville Fire Marshal Kyle Davis. Davis said he closed his part of the investigation and that arson is not suspected. Davis did say the insurance company was sending an investigator next week to look over the scene.
Blackwell said the fire was under control about 30 minutes after arrival and that the last units cleared about 7 am that morning.