Fire displaces 22 people, smoke detectors saved their says, say Fire officials

Nearly two dozen people escape Newton house fire

NEWTON, N.C. (WBTV) - A fire at a boarding house a block off of downtown Newton Monday sent 22 residents running and has shut the place down for the time being. The fire was an accident, said investigators, and started when there was an electrical short in a boom box type radio.

When it caught fire it billowed heavy smoke and despite repeated attempts by residents to put it out, the fire kept burning. “The smoke was thick and you couldn’t breathe,” said Charles Sain.

The smoke alarms sounded and alerted everyone to what was going on. Many were in their rooms and had no idea a fire had broken out until they heard the alarms. Newton Fire Battalion Chief Kenneth Huffman said everyone was lucky. “The smoke alarms did save lives today,” he said.

Only one person was injured and they were treated at the scene for a minor burn. Everyone who was living there is having to stay someplace else for the time being. The Red Cross stepped in to help those who needed it.

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