By Max Hrenda
Authorities are still investigating the cause of a house fire that may have claimed the life of 49-year-old Jonathan Ray on Friday morning.
At approximately 10:10 a.m., the call went out over emergency frequencies that the house at 519 DeLorean Road – a private drive off of Pearl Bowers Road in Stoney Creek – had caught fire, and that someone may have been trapped inside.
Members of the Stoney Creek, Hampton/Valley Forge, and Watauga volunteer fire departments responded to the call, along with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department and the Carter County Emergency and Rescue Squad, responded to the call.
Although scanner traffic revealed there was some confusion as to where, exactly, the isolated private drive was, smoke from the fire was visible from more than six miles away.
“We saw the heavy smoke from the station,” said SCVFD Chief Jason Shaw, whose station sits approximately six-and-a-half miles from DeLorean Road.
The SCVFD’s Hunter unit was the first to arrive at the scene, along with members of the Rescue Squad, including Deputy Director Anthony Roberts.
“We knew that Stoney Creek was hurting for membership during the day,” Robert said. “Three of us – myself, Jackie Cable, and Cody Deloach – responded from the EMS station. Jackie Cable and I took the apparatus from Stoney Creek and responded to the scene. We did the initial knockdown.”
Shaw arrived at the scene just before 10:30, knowing that the initial report stated that someone may still be in the house. Despite those reports, Shaw said neither he nor any other rescue worker was able to locate anyone in the home.
“Nothing was found, initially,” Shaw said. “So we just had to continue to work on getting the fire put out.”