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Fire razes Vass home while 911 system down

Posted August 11, 2013
Updated August 14, 2013

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— Fire burned a Vass home to the ground early Sunday during a three-hour outage of Moore County's 911 system.

The home, at 110 Birch Drive, is a total loss, authorities said. The homeowner was not home at the time, and no one was injured.

Neighbor Patrick Brock told WRAL News that he called to report the fire but got no answer on 911 or the sheriff's office emergency number. He dialed *HP, which also attempted to get a message to the fire department.

"The middle of the entire roof was on fire. I mean it had broke through the roof," he said. "So we did it the old fashion way – equivalent of sounding the town bell."

Brock, a former detective and volunteer firefighter, eventually called the assistant fire chief's nephew, who relayed the message to the appropriate authorities.

He said it took 15 minutes for a fire truck to arrive, although the station is only 2 miles away. 

Emergency officials confirmed that their 911 system crashed overnight. It took about 3 hours to repair.

Moore County Manager Wayne Vest says there was an internal power failure around 12:45 a.m.

"Well, we know we had a power outage. That triggered a breaker to trip and that shut the power down in the 911 center. This is a very serious matter to us and we're addressing it," Vest said. 

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