‘Like an explosion’: Neighbors react after a Burlington family of 8 loses home to fire

Piedmont Triad News

BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Neighbors are reacting after a house fire in Burlington

“Like an explosion, like someone hit something, that’s what we thought, it was a car wreck. When we looked out and smelled the smoke we knew the house was on fire,” neighbor Virginia Walker said.

Bright orange flames engulfed a home in Burlington in the 600 block of Front Street. The Burlington Fire Department responded to the fire at 5 p.m. Tuesday. They say all the damage was caused by a cigarette that was not properly discarded.

Firefighters say at one point, several people, including four adults and four children ages 2-6, were trapped inside of the home, barely escaping in time.

“The kids that were in the house were all hysterical — and crying and everything. The whole neighborhood pitched in, gave them water, and shoes to put on their feet because they came outside with no shoes on,” Walker said. “I’ve never witnessed a house fire like that before. I hope I never see another one, it’s so scary.

One woman is in the hospital, critically injured.

“We wish that family the best. We got them in contact with Red Cross,” said Captain David Sharp, of the Burlington Fire Department.

FOX8 went back to the scene and encountered family members coming to get some of their items. They were visibly upset and did not give an update on their injured loved one.

Someone inside the home tried to douse the flames, delaying a 911 call for help.

“Every second counts so any delay can be a manner of life or death. Every second counts,” Sharp said.

Seven firefighters needed treatment because of the heat. They are now all in good condition.

This is the second fire Burlington firefighters have been called to this month for people not properly tossing their cigarettes. They want to remind everyone to be more aware.

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