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Authorities seek cause of blaze that destroyed Roan Mountain building

Authorities are still working to find the cause of a Thursday afternoon fire that destroyed a building at 136 Jess

Photo by Brandon Hicks

A firefighter with Elk Park Volunteer Fire Department sprays water on a smoldering building on Jess Mosley Road in Roan Mountain.

Mosley Road in Roan Mountain.

The fire – in a building firefighters said is owned by Wayne Mosley – started at around 3 p.m. and was reported by a lawn care worker who was working in the neighborhood.
The building was a two-story structure; the top level was destroyed and the bottom portion of the building severely damaged. The building was sitting next to a home and other storage buildings on the same property. The owner of the property was not home at the time of the fire.
David Stevens of Hampton was trimming weeds at a neighboring home when he heard an explosion.
“I was over there weed-eating,” Stevens said, pointing across the street. “I heard the explosion and I turned around and there was nothing but fire.”

Roan Mountain, Hampton/Valley Forge, Elk Park, Newland and Avery County volunteer fire departments

responded to the scene, along with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department and Carter County Rescue Squad.
Roan Mountain volunteer firefighter Jonathan Arnett was the first to arrive at the fire.
“When I got here it was fully involved,” Arnett said. “It was pretty much to the ground. Then it spread into the woods. I was worried more about that. It was spreading, and there is a double-wide up at the top; we had to stop it before it got there.”
Firefighters worked to get the brush fire under control and stopped it before it could spread farther up the mountain. The fire damaged about 100 square feet of the mountainside.
CCSD Investigator Travis Ludlow said the fire scene was still under investigation. He said an early look at the scene did not yield any obvious signs of suspicious origin.
“We treat all fires as if there is something suspicious about them until we have proven otherwise,” he said. “R

ight now, there was nothing at the scene that showed foul play was involved.”
He said when the scene cools the incident will be reconstructed to determine where and why the fire started