Carter County homes devastated by fire

Published 11:36 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Star Photo/Rebekah Price The home at 159 Sims Hill Rd. was destroyed in a Tuesday morning blaze.

Star Photo/Rebekah Price The home at 159 Sims Hill Rd. was destroyed in a Tuesday morning blaze.

A home was engulfed in flames Tuesday morning after a devastating fire spread throughout the premises.
Firefighters fought the blaze for over four hours in under 20 degree weather at 159 Sims Hill Rd. Hampton Fire Chief Johnny Isaacs said the source of the fire is believed to be from the woodstove and chimney.
Carter County Emergency Management Agency and volunteer firefighters from Hampton, Stoney Creek, and Watauga responded just after 11 and worked till nearly 4 p.m. Isaacs said it took about 45 minutes to get it under control.
“This was a tough one because it went up the wall, into the ceiling and from the ceiling to the roof and across to the other side,” said Isaacs. “It took a lot of time to get everything completely out.”
No residents were home when the fire began. Additionally, the same three volunteer fire departments as well as Central responded to a house fire along Bristol Highway just after 3 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Watauga Fire Chief Ben Colbaugh said the fire consumed the home, a 38 foot camper and a car. The family of three woke up to the sound of the smoke alarm and made it out safely with no injuries.
It took about an hour and a half to contain it, Colbuagh said, adding that with the camper and house in flames, the two were hard to contain.
On top of fighting the fire, Colbaugh said they had issues with equipment freezing. The valves, guages, hose, ladder and even the house were freezing, but firefighters were able to pump water.
“It was rough when I got there. It was a total loss,” said Colbaugh, who was one of the first on the scene. “If it wasn’t for the help of other departments this morning, I’d have been in trouble. A lot of times, we just don’t have enough help to get them knocked down fast enough.”
Though the source of the fire has not been identified, Colabugh said the owner reported a popping noise coming from his fuse box. Colbaugh said it is possible that the heat pump kicked on and the system overloaded.
This time of year, he said the majority are started from woodstoves or fireplaces.

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