WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) – Gusty winds, heavy rain and a lot of lightning did not stop Winston-Salem firefighters from tackling five house fires Tuesday.
Crews responded to all of those calls within a few hours during severe weather.
One of the most intense fires was on Pheasant Lane off Milhaven Road in the gated Mill House Place community.
Neighbors told FOX8 that the homeowners moved in last weekend. New furniture and precious memories were significantly damaged. No one was injured.
“We’re there no matter what,” said Desmond Teal, a captain for the Winston-Salem Fire Department. “We have to get on scene. We have to take care of the hazards.”
Fire investigators think a lightning bolt was the spark that started it all. It made a challenging job even more dangerous.
“Being in a thunderstorm…you’ve got a lot of wind. You’ve got a lot of noises, so you just got to be sharp and always observe,” he said.
Neighbors said the family inside of the house heard a loud boom and ran out to find smoke coming from the roof.
Teal told FOX8 that wind fueled the fire which is why crews on the ground had to watch each other’s back during the severe weather. Conditions could have changed in an instant.
“The elements are intensified. You’ve got high windstorms,” he said. “You’ve got debris falling. You’ve got trees down. You’ve got potential power lines down.”
Teal said crews had to take a defensive approach to tackle the massive house fire.
“Once it gets into an attic, especially at a house the size of the one on Pheasant [Lane], it’s nothing you can pretty much do,” he said. “You just…surround and drown. Put the sticks up and flow water.”
Neighbors started to help the family rebuild their lives after firefighters cleared the scene.
Mill House Place resident Victoria Frye shared this statement with FOX8:
“We sincerely appreciate all the thoughts and prayers from everyone. The Mill House Place community is coming together to help the family.”