NEWTON, NC (WBTV) - No 4th of July day off for firefighters and in Newton their quick action likely saved a home.
A detached garage at a home on Highway 10 caught fire Monday afternoon and by the time firefighters arrived flames were 30 feet in the air and siding on a home, which was 50 feet away, was melting.
Crews quickly got control of the fire and put it out, but not before the garage structure, a Honda Pilot parked inside, and all the other contents of the building were destroyed.
Dollar value of the damage is estimated to be near $50,000. The cause is believed to be a lawnmower, though investigators have not made a final determination.
The woman who lives at the nearby home had just finished mowing and had put the riding mower in the detached garage. Minutes later, according to fire officials, the homeowner heard an explosion and saw the flames.
Newton Fire Chief Kevin Yoder says it is not uncommon for fires to break out when gas powered equipment is stored immediately after being used. He says people need to take precautions with the equipment.
"They need to be sure they are very cool before they take them inside of a building."
As for the firefighters, it was fortunate, say officials, that they were able to knock the fire down quickly.
That lessened the risk of heat exhaustion. Even so, medical crews were on the scene to make sure firefighters were hydrated and followed summer safety protocols.
Everyone got through the event in good shape.