Investigators from the Caldwell County Fire Marshal’s office have narrowed down the location for the start of a fire that occurred in the Valmead area last night, but the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The fire at the mobile home of 68-year-old James McMahan, at 1723 Rattlesnake Lane, Lenoir, was called in by a neighbor around 11 p.m., Tuesday.
The neighbor, Bruce Nations, told investigators that he saw smoke coming out of the home last night and he and a nephew went to the home and banged on the door to alert McMahan to the fire. When he did not answer, Nations said he and his nephew used a crow bar to gain access to the home and found McMahan lying just inside the door, pulled him out and called 911.
According to investigators, McMahan was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem for treatment of his injuries. His two dogs died in the fire. The mobile home was destroyed.
Jason Potter, Caldwell County Deputy Fire Marshal, said the area of origin for the fire has been narrowed down to trashcan that was between the kitchen and living room. The exact cause of the fire is still pending further investigation when Potter can speak with McMahan to determine the exact contents of the trashcan.
“The result of this fire with Mr. McMahan injured and the loss of his two dogs is reminder to everyone to make sure they have properly functioning smoke detectors in their home,” says Potter. “This tragedy brought that point home to Mr. McMahan’s neighbors and they contacted their local fire departments today to receive smoke detectors that are available to the public at no cost through a grant from the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Office of the State Fire Marshal. We encourage everyone that needs them to contact their local fire departments about receiving a smoke detector.”
For more information contact the Caldwell County Fire Marshal’s office at 828-757-1108.
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