Flames destroyed a one-story brick home in Lincolnton Tuesday afternoon, leaving firefighters puzzled.
Crews with South Fork, Lincolnton and Crouse Fire Departments responded around 1:30 p.m. to the smokey scene at 1638 Roseland Drive, fire officials said.
Fire was still shooting through the roof of the residence, and burning ashes and debris filled the air just 30 minutes after firefighters began pumping water to the home.
Neighbor Carolyn McGinnis, who saod she had known the property’s original owners and their entire family for more than three decades, called 911 after she heard a popping noise and saw flames.
“I heard a racket,” she said. “I got to hollering to see if anyone was inside.”
She later contacted the mother of one of men who lived at the burning residence, she said.
Cousins Lonnie Carpenter and Dustin Rhodes, who said they weren’t home at the time of the fire, have lived there most of their lives since it once belonged to their grandparents. Dustin said he put a new roof on the home a year ago.
Dustin’s mother Cindy Rhodes had tears in her eyes Tuesday while watching her childhood residence burn to the ground.
She said her father and his brothers built the home in the 1960s, when she was in the third grade. Now 53, Cindy pointed out as her old bedroom the right side of the home where a large portion of the fire continued to burn at the scene.
Additional grandchildren were also on hand to witness the fiery incident including Dustin’s sister Miranda Rhodes.
“This is our home,” she said.
After her grandfather passed away last year and her grandmother in January, the home and its contents were the only things left by which the family could remember the deceased couple.
While Dustin worked earlier this spring to remove some of his grandmother’s belongings from the residence, Cindy said most items remained inside, including family photos.
“This is the end of my grandma and grandpa,” Miranda said.
The American Red Cross is assisting the family, but the cause of the blaze has yet to be determined, according to Crouse Fire Department’s Public Information Officer James Owens.
Emergency Medical Services also treated one his agency’s firefighters at the scene for a burned hand, Owens said.
The Lincoln County Fire Marshal’s Office is conducting an ongoing investigation into the incident.