Fire officials have squelched any arson speculation regarding a western Lincoln County blaze last week, stating the incident was an accident.
Lincoln County Fire Marshal Mike Futrell told the Times-News Tuesday afternoon that despite initial suspicion from fire officials, deputies and an area resident that someone may have ignited the mobile home blaze around 1:30 p.m. Friday on Knottywood Lane in Vale, the fire was actually started by a heat lamp the family of four had been using to warm their pet pot-belly pig.
While a local woman told the Times-News that she spotted someone running in a field near the burning trailer, for whom deputies initially scoured the area as a potential culprit in the incident, Futrell verified the man was a neighbor and had been walking in the woods when he heard popping noises from the flames and fled the area.
No one was inside the residence at the time, and through the assistance of the local American Red Cross chapter, the family has since been staying at the Comfort Inn in Lincolnton until they can find a permanent play to live, Futrell said.
Responding agencies included the Lincoln County Fire Marshal’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Medical Services and departments with Alexis, Denver and Mt. Holly’s Lucia Riverbend.
Unfortunately, the family’s pig didn’t survive the blaze, fire officials said.