By Max Hrenda
Authorities believe a space heater that was left unattended may have ultimately led to the destruction of a home in a secluded Stoney Creek neighborhood.
On Thursday afternoon, despite the intervention of three volunteer fire departments, authorities said that fire, smoke, and heat damage might have rendered the house at 125 Clyde White Road – the home of Joe and Melanie Oliver – a “total loss.”
“The house is pretty much gone,” said Stoney Creek Volunteer Firefighter Jason Smith. “We saved a lot of half of the house, but it’s pretty much gone.”
No one was injured in the fire, and the Olivers’ three dogs and three cats were outdoors at the time.
Although no one was injured and her home was insured, Melanie Oliver struggled with the potential loss of her family home.
“My grandfather built this house,” Melanie said. “We’ve been here for 17 years. Joe just finished painting the whole house.
“I guess, now, we’ll just go on.”
Neither Melanie nor Joe Oliver were home when the fire began. The fire was first noticed by Brady Morris, who lives across the street at 120 Clyde White Road. At approximately 2:30 p.m., Morris said he was preparing for the arrival of his grandson when he heard noises coming from across the street.
“I heard glass breaking, looked out the window, and saw flames shooting out their living room window,” Morris said. Once he saw flames, Morris said he called 911.
Within minutes, firefighters from the Stoney Creek, Hampton, and Watauga volunteer fire departments arrived to battle the blaze. As time passed and the firefighters continued to work, Melanie arrived, only to burst into tears at the sight of her smoldering home.