Firefighters were on the scene of a controlled burn when they were dispatched to the call of an actual fire at 728 Worth St. last night. Two residents were able to escape the home just as firefighters arrived on the scene.
Naomi Galloway and her son, Robert, were sitting in the living room of the home watching TV when she heard some crackling sounds. She said she looked up and saw that the kitchen was on fire. She woke up her son who had fallen asleep. He called 911 before helping her to safety along with the help of a nephew, Marty Galloway, who just happened to be passing by.
Mrs. Galloway is on oxygen and twisted her leg trying to escape the flames.
As she sat in a car in a parking lot across the street from her home, firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. She smiled and said, “Thank the Lord.” Even though the home was not insured, she was happy to be alive along with her son. She said she thought about getting insurance last week, but didn’t.
Capt. Chris Fallaw with the Mount Airy Fire Department confirmed that the fire originated in the kitchen of the home, however he said the origin of the fire is still under investigation.
Fire Engineer Steve Everett was aided at the scene by paramedics after twisting his ankle on one of the uneven floors inside the home. After a quick check by medics, Everett rejoined firefighters battling the blaze.
Fallaw said the 911 call came in at 7:44 p.m., the first trucks arrived on the scene just 1 minute 36 seconds later. The blaze was extinguished at 8:18 p.m., but firefighters continued to put out hot spots in the roof of the structure.
Fighting the fire was more challenging because the house had been added on to several times, Fallaw explained. He said he had been to the home before on an electric fire. He couldn’t remember when that was.
According to Robert Galloway, the home was built more than 60 years ago by his father and the family has lived there ever since. Mrs. Galloway said they escaped with only the clothes on their backs. She didn’t know where they were going to stay Friday night at last check. The American Red Cross has been called to assist the family.
Many of the firefighters who responded to the scene were already on the scene of the controlled burn on Edgewood Drive. Firefighters with the Franklin, Four Way and Pilot Knob volunteer fire departments responded to the fire. Firefighters with the Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department were placed on standby at the two Mount Airy stations while the city fire department handled the fire.
At last count, there were 31 firefighters on the scene, four members of the Mount Airy Rescue Squad and four Mount Airy Police officers, who were on the scene for crowd control and to block traffic.
Surry County Emergency Services paramedics remained on the scene as medical standby.
Contact Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.