Local News

Brush fire burns through Johnston County field, woods

Posted September 20, 2010
Updated September 21, 2010

— A brush fire burned through a field and woods near Crocker and Daughtry roads in Smithfield on Monday afternoon and into early Tuesday, according to the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources.

The fire started around 1:30 p.m. and rekindled overnight into Tuesday morning. Flames jumped the fire line, so crews brought in a plow and expanded the line.

The fire threatened several nearby houses, including Marcia Sennholtz's home.

“When I got here, you could see the flames shooting up over the trees and it was pretty frightening,” she said.

Sennholtz said she returned from work to see the thick plume of smoke and quickly realized her home, two cats and two dogs were near the fire.

A Forest Resources helicopter picked up water from a nearby pond to dump onto the fire. Firefighters credit the air assault with saving the Sennholtz home. A sheriff’s deputy assisted Sennholtz in getting her pets to safety.

“They just told me to run in really quick, grab my animals and get out,” she said.

The fire has burned at least 60 acres. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire remained under investigation.

"I hope it's not intentional, that's my biggest fear. Most of these woods that got burned are my grandma's woods, so it's a little bit closer to home,” firefighter Matthew Daughtry said.

Pine Level, Smithfield and Brogden fire departments fought the blaze, along with crews from the Division of Forest Resources.


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  • gmtillman2757 Sep 21, 2010

    Not to say that this fire wasn't a bad thing, but in Wayne County there was and still is a fire that has burned over 80 acres.

  • Go Figure Sep 20, 2010

    I live in California not THREE iles from the San Bruno fire that was caused by the gas pipeline explosion. No matter what starts it, its a scary situation.. It took every district within a 50 miles (probably more) radius once the gas was turned off to put out that San Bruno fire. But not after it leveled over 50 houses and damaged 100s more. Loss of life was also experienced. God bless the firemen working to put this one out.

  • ataimmama2 Sep 20, 2010

    I'm also surprised this has not happened before now. We have poeple riding the roads all hours of the night with speakers blaring so loud my pictures turn side-ways on my wall. It is getting scary in Johnston County. They throw trash in my yard at least three times a week and that includes cigarette butts. Bless the firemen who are putting out this senseless fire.

  • fourfivesix Sep 20, 2010

    ATTN DAVID CRABTREE: it's FOREST SERVICE. NOT forestry service.

  • jeff27577 Sep 20, 2010

    haha to all the antismoking people...you people always provide me with a good laugh.

  • tobywilliamson58 Sep 20, 2010

    cigarette smoking should be banned altogether!

  • Adelinthe Sep 20, 2010

    Makes me wonder if this isn't the Johnston County firebug.

    God bless.


  • Adelinthe Sep 20, 2010

    That's not just a cornfield either.

    It's in the brush and trees, and is headed for houses.

    Praying for everyone out there.

    God bless.


  • Adelinthe Sep 20, 2010

    flip - "all you hack smoking chimneys out there need to watch your cigbutts and throw them in your car, not our yards!"


    Someone must be pretty dumb to toss them out as dry as it's been, if that's what happened here.

    God bless.


  • Adelinthe Sep 20, 2010

    Praying all will be fine and no one will get hurt.

    God bless.