Local News

Wake Forest house fire started by hot lawnmower, debris

Posted April 30, 2010 7:38 p.m. EDT
Updated May 1, 2010 6:29 a.m. EDT

— Fire investigators say a fire at a Wake Forest home Friday afternoon appeared to have started when a recently used lawnmower was put away under the deck.

The fire was reported just before 5 p.m. at 12725 Powell Road.

Officials said the heat from the lawnmower ignited nearby combustible debris, including pine straw.

Wake County Fire Marshall Charles Ottaway said people should be mindful of how and where they store their lawnmowers after using them.

The family's teen son was home at the time of the fire but was saved by neighbor Mark Urban who saw fire and smoke billowing from the home.

"When I looked at it, the deck was just engulfed in flames," Urban said. "I ran out to the driveway, yelling to anybody for help."

Ken Thorne stopped to help.

"The glass door in the back was keeping the fire in the back," Thorne said. "All of a sudden. that just exploded and blew glass and fire toward the front of the house."

Urban said the teen was upstairs taking a shower and came downstairs in a towel when he heard people yelling.

"The flames followed him down the steps," Urban said.

Urban said he does not consider himself a hero. He is just relieved the boy got out of the house safely.

The family's two dogs remain missing.