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Catawba fire being investigated

June 2, 2011

Catawba County Fire Marshals are investigating a fire that took four area departments to put out Thursday.

“When the first engine arrived on the scene, it was fully engulfed in flames,” said Catawba Fire Department Chief Donald Robinson. “A neighbor saw smoke in the area, and then saw the (mobile) home on fire.”

The fire started at an abandoned mobile home on Maggie Road in Catawba.

Firefighters from Catawba, Bandys, Sherrills Ford and Claremont fire departments helped put out the “fully involved” fire that consumed much of the home.

Robinson said Catawba Fire Department called for mutual aid to the scene because of the hot temperatures, adding that Catawba Rescue was also on the scene to make sure firefighters were properly hydrated.

“If you put this turnout gear on and about 100 pounds of clothes…you want to make sure you keep yourself hydrated with fluids,” Robinson said, adding that extreme heat, fatigue, sweat and dehydration are the main issues firefighters face during spring and summer months.

Robinson noted that the fire was difficult to put out, but when he was asked why the fire started, he said, “That’s what we’re trying to find out.”

Oxford Fire Department was on stand by while firefighters battled the blaze in case of additional calls, Robinson said.

Neighbors said no one has lived in the home for about a year.

“They should just let it burn to the ground. It’s no good anyway,” said Linda McCrary, who originally thought firefighters set the blaze to destroy the mobile home. “I’m surprised the county hasn’t done anything to it yet. If the county would have come out here, it would have been condemned anyway.”

McCrary said Teresa Dickerson, of Catawba, last lived in the home about a year ago.

Robinson said electricity was not powering the home at the time of the fire.

No injuries were reported from the fire.

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