The first of the two fires was dispatched minutes before 3 p.m. at 1520 Red Brush Road, where a teenage girl was at home when the blaze began, according to Franklin Volunteer Fire Chief Jamie Fore. The girl escaped the fire uninjured.
The fire began somewhere in the back portion of the ranch-style brick home, near the laundry room, Fore said, but fire officials are uncertain of the exact origin. The home is owned by Susan Marie Mauck, who resided there with her teenage daughter and son.
It has been ruled an accidental fire, with losses estimated at $90,000 for the home and $20,000 for content.
Mauck did have insurance, and the American Red Cross was called in to assist the family with somewhere to stay and other necessary personal items.
Assisting Franklin VFD on the scene were White Plains, Pine Ridge, Skull Camp and Bannertown volunteer fire departments. The Cana, Va., Volunteer Fire Department stood by at Franklin’s station in case of other emergency calls, and Mount Airy Rescue Squad and Surry EMS provided medical standby. No one was injured on the scene.
The second fire, at 244 Hiatt Road, was dispatched at 4:21 p.m. with members of Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department on the scene within four minutes, according to Bannertown Assistant Chief and Surry County Assistant Fire Marshal Jason Burkholder.
Heavy smoke from the single-wide trailer fire could be seen for miles. The trailer was a total loss, estimated at $35,000 for the home and contents.
Christie Lynn Collins and her three sons, ages 6, 9 and 14, had lived in the home, but power had been turned off and they had been staying with relatives, according to Burkholder and Bannertown Chief Scottie Chilton. The family had no insurance.
No one was home with the blaze broke out, and the fire is being investigated further by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office. Burkholder said the cause has been officially ruled as undetermined.
Chilton said recent “weather conditions and mud made it very hard for the firefighters,” since the home was located on a long dirt drive. Upon leaving the scene, firefighters spent hours cleaning the mud off of the trucks and equipment in frigid temperatures.
The American Red Cross was called in to assist Collins and her family, as well.
Assisting Bannertown on the scene were Ararat, White Plains, Four Way, Pilot Knob and Franklin volunteer fire departments, as well as MARS and EMS.