Blaze burns barn, men save home

A Maiden man and his son helped stop a fire Thursday just before it destroyed his parents’ home.

Nathan Painter and his son, Joseph, arrived at his parents’ home on the 1800 block of P.L. Propst Road in Maiden about 1 p.m. Thursday to a large fire burning in the house’s front yard.

A barn, located behind the home, caught fire just minutes before, and the blaze had now spread to the front yard.

Painter’s parents, Joe and Betty, were not home, and a neighbor alerted him that the yard was on fire. He called for firefighters, but didn’t have time to waste, as the fire was just 30 feet from the home’s exterior.

Painter started beating the fire back, and Joseph mounted a tractor and began circling the fire to keep it contained.

Maiden firefighters arrived within minutes and controlled the fire within about 15 minutes, said Assistant Maiden Fire Chief Tracy Caldwell.

“The barn was involved with a grass fire also that was threatening the residence and outbuildings on a neighbor’s property,” Caldwell said, adding that he called for mutual aid from North 321 Fire Department in Lincolnton.

Painter said he and his son were able to put out most of the grass fire before firefighters arrived, saving the home from destruction and the family from a second home fire in recent years.

Painter said that on Christmas Eve 2002, his home, located just down the road from his parents’, was completely destroyed by a fire. Though the barn on his parents’ property was destroyed on Thursday, he said he is happy that the house was not involved.

The Catawba County Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the blaze, but it appeared the fire started after a neighbor’s early morning controlled burn spread to Painter’s parents’ property.