By MICAH HENRY
A house fire on Sunday afternoon, March 12, 2023, caused a local family to lose their home. The fire services were dispatched at 3:49 p.m. to 2189 Bethel Church Road in northeast Alexander County.
Vashti Fire Department responded to the house, which was fully involved in fire by the time firefighters arrived, only four minutes after the call was dispatched, said Chief Coty Fox. Vashti was assisted by Sugar Loaf and Hiddenite departments from Alexander County, as well as Central Fire Department of Iredell County and Moravian Falls Fire Department of Wilkes County. Brushy Mountain and Central fire departments performed stand by duty at Vashti’s station, in case calls came in. Some 44 firefighters and 11 apparatus were involved in fighting the fire.
Fox noted there is no fire hydrant in the home’s vicinity and a drop tank operation had to be used, with multiple tankers transporting water to the scene.
The Chief indicated the occupants and a neighbor had attempted to put out the fire themselves.
Alexander County Deputy Fire Marshal Garrett Huffman said the mobile home had multiple roofs and additions over the original structure. The roof layers made it difficult to extinguish the fire.
The family lost several pets in the fire. A family member who is a neighbor suffered second degree burns to her face while attempting to help the family during the fire.
Huffman said the occupants were listed as Julie Hunter and her children, ages 17, 16, 13, 6, and 5 years old. The owner of the home is Vivian Costner, Hunter’s mother and neighbor. The Hunters are staying with family members since they have been displaced due to the fire.
Sadly, the home was not insured, Huffman noted. He said about one-third of the structure fires lately in Alexander have involved uninsured buildings. He estimated the loss at $100,000 to the home and $30,000 to its contents.
A GoFundMe fundraising page has been placed online at https://gofund.me/e6bacd71 to accept donations to help the Hunter Family.