As Veterans Day celebrations filled the county on Friday, it was a day of honor for one local Marine as he marched in the parade in downtown Lincolnton. However, less than 24 hours later, Chad Hull and his family were suddenly homeless after a Saturday morning blaze destroyed their Lincolnton residence.
Fire officials said a heater caught fire inside a doghouse on the property.
Crews responded to the residence at 2249 Maiden-Salem Road around 8Â a.m., according to the Lincoln County Fire Marshalâ€™s Office and firefighters with North 321 Fire Department.
Authorities said a neighbor saw the flames and called 911. The home was torched after a heater sparked inside a doghouse, fire officials said.
The heater had recently been installed to keep an outside dog warm during the colder months. In addition, because the doghouse was connected to the backside of the home, smoke and flames quickly spread throughout the residence,
â€œThe fire ran up the brick wall, got into the attic area and then ran the length of the attic,â€ Fire Marshal Mike Futrell said.
Hullâ€™s oldest son and two dogs were still inside the residence when the fire occurred, officials said.
Hull said a Boy Scout troop that was in the area placing door hangers on local residences for canned good donations also witnessed the fire and even entered his residence, pulling both his son and a dog to safety.
â€œI credit them for saving my sonâ€™s life,â€ he said.
Fire officials said they later discovered a second dog hiding underneath a bed. No injuries to people or animals were reported in the incident.
Hull, a 20-year military veteran who served in both Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, also holds many positions at Lincolnton Middle School.
Heâ€™s a technology teacher, head football coach and co-athletic director. Hull additionally serves as an assistant scoutmaster for his sonâ€™s Boy Scout Troop 75, which meets at First United Methodist Church in Lincolnton.
He noted that his troop had gone on an overnight camping trip Friday following Veterans Day activities and was also getting ready to place door hangers on local homes when he said he received the call from a neighbor that his home was on fire.
â€œIronically, the fire trucks that came to my house were the same ones we marched right behind in the parade,â€ Hull said.
In addition to North 321 Fire Department, who served as the incidentâ€™s primary responder, Union, Lincolnton, and Maiden fire crews provided mutual aid.
Officials with Emergency Medical Services and the Fire Marshalâ€™s Office additionally responded to Saturdayâ€™s charred scene.
No one was injured in the incident.
The five-member family is currently looking for a place to stay. Anyone wishing to accommodate the Hull family in any way is asked to contact the Capt. Jeb F. Seagle Marine Corps League Detachment 1265 at 704-689-2946 or send financial donations by mail to P.O. Box 873, Lincolnton, NC 28092.
Comfort Inn in Lincolnton is currently housing the family.