Storm damage includes ouse fire, downed trees

kjahner@newsobserver.comJanuary 17, 2014 

— Last Saturday’s storm that swept through the Triangle with record wind gusts did not leave Garner unscathed, with downed trees, power outages and a house fire among the damage.

About 12 calls lit up the phones at Garner Volunteer Fire and Rescue in the first hour after the storm moving into the area, according to Deputy Chief Tim Herman.

The house fire occured at 1308 Viola Place in Cleveland Oaks neighborhood off of Cleveland School Road. Herman said an investigation into the start of that fire continues, but lightning may have started the blaze.

Firefighters were able to put out the blaze fairly quickly, with some burns on the outside. The fire got into the attic space and a few other board spaces, doing what Herman called minor damage.

Though the residents were out of town, Herman said the house was fit to be occupied when the firefighters left.

Downed trees provided another source of activity for the department, though it couldn’t handle all of the work. A downed tree completely blocked Colonial Road until next morning.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation had to be summoned to clear that tree; the fire department has chainsaws and will try to move trees but doesn’t have NCDOT’s backhoes, industrial-sized chain saws and dedicated crews.

The department was able to clear other trees that fell into roadways. Herman said the bulk of that work happened in the Old Stage Road and Woodland Road areas. He mentioned that crews working on downed trees were still available and ready to move should a serious fire or a life-threatening call come up.

Power outages also affected Garner, with Duke Energy Progress trucks moving to restore electricity as quickly as possible.

Jahner: 919-829-4822; Twitter: @garnercleveland

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