HIGH POINT, N.C. — Sleet and ice Monday night and Tuesday morning made conditions dangerous for firefighters putting out a three-alarm blaze on Taylor Avenue.
One firefighter was hurt after falling off a ladder. He received minor injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
“Our immediate thought is their safety,” said High Point Fire Chief Thomas Reid. “[The] last thing we want to happen is anybody to get hurt.”
Firefighters say it could have gone much worse with about a quarter- to a half-inch of ice blanketing sidewalks and streets.
“The job in itself is a challenge to start with,” Reid said. “When you throw Mother Nature in there, it makes it a little more complicated.”
The fire also took a long time to put out, with flare ups throughout the afternoon.
Chief Reid says that’s mainly because of the wood inside the building, which was the former Myrtle Desk Furniture Company building, was built decades ago.
The fire started just after 11 p.m. Monday night and wasn’t out until around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Crews remained on scene until approximately 4:30 p.m.
“You could see the flames, leaping up into the sky,” said Michael White, who lives down the street and watched the blaze from his bedroom window.
“I never seen flames like that before, ever,” White said.
Officials still don’t know what caused the fire or where it started but are just grateful no one was inside.