Local News

Brush fire burns through Johnston County field, woods

Posted September 20, 2010 3:35 p.m. EDT
Updated September 21, 2010 7:14 p.m. EDT

— 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.