By Michele Dotson
Separate fires rendered two families homeless within three days in the Mint Hill Area last week.
On Thursday, February 28, a home in the 6200 block of Eagle Claw Court was completely destroyed by fire that was reported by a neighbor at around 10:30 am.
“I left for work at about 7:30,” said the owner, who wished to remain anonymous. “You know, it was my normal routine. I made my coffee and went out to work. If it hadn’t been for a friend of mine in Kannapolis who saw it on the news and called me, I would have come home at night to find my house was gone.”
The owner’s wife and two daughters were out of the country and no injuries were reported.
“It’s sad,” he says. “33 years, and the memories. All gone.”
The resident has been able to relocate to a rental property while the investigation continues.
Mint Hill Fire Chief John Phillips says it was a total loss, and was surprised by how long it took for someone to notice a fire of that magnitude.
“By the time the call came in and the trucks left, the firefighters could see the smoke from the station,” he says.
The Mecklenburg County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause which remains undetermined at this time.
On Saturday, March 1 at around 6:50 am, Mint Hill firefighters responded to a call on Chattanooga Lane in Lawyers Station. The cause of the blaze was linked to an electrical problem. The fire was contained in the attic, but damage was sustained “end to end” according to Mint Hill Fire Chief Phillips.
The owners were at home and no injuries were reported. Firefighters were on the scene within four minutes of the call and although the home sustained heavy damage, many personal items were saved.
“Much of the damage in a fire can come from the water used by the firefighters,” says Phillips. “In this case, we were able to put the fire out, then remove many of the clothes, and toys and things before we gave it a final dousing. These things can be laundered and saved.”
The residents have moved in with Mint Hill relatives until they can rebuild.
Tips for Fire Safety
Make sure your house has smoke detectors-at least one on every level-and near the bedrooms
Replace the batteries in your smoke detector whenever the time changes (Daylight savings time begins on March 9, 2014!)
Replace smoke detectors every five years.
If you live in a rental home or apartment, it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure the residence has smoke detectors. It is the renter’s responsibility to keep working batteries in them.
Install carbon monoxide detectors if your home has gas appliances.
Have a fire drill plan and a place outside where everyone should meet in case of fire.