Fire damages Victorian house in Mount Airy

April 18, 1993|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

A large Victorian house in Mount Airy was damaged Friday when fire erupted within its walls.

Eugenia Gartrell, who stood in the rain near her 100-year-old house while firefighters battled the fire, said, "I was in the kitchen on the first floor [about 12:50 p.m.] and heard a loud squealing noise and thought I left the telephone off the hook."

The noise turned out to be a smoke detector.

"I followed the sound to the third floor, and saw smoke in the hall- way near a bedroom and smoke coming through the wall," Ms. Gartrell said.

"When I touched the wall it felt warm, and I went to the phone and called 911. Then I went outside," she said.

On the way, Ms. Gartrell scooped up her Siamese cat, Sly. She put him in her car, where he remained until they were allowed to go back inside the 20-room house at 5 Prospect Road about 2:30 p.m.

Nine pieces of equipment from four counties and 35 firefighters quickly brought the fire under control.

No one was injured and the amount of damage has not been determined.

Mount Airy Fire Chief Dale Lowman praised the firefighters for "containing the fire within the walls of such a beautiful old house."

He said the fire was discovered about the same time a thunderstorm struck the area.

The cause of the house fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal.

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