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Grifton deals with fires along with flooding

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By Tyler Stocks
The Daily Reflector

Monday, September 24, 2018

Grifton first responders have had a challenging week.

Along with the loss of electric power and multiple homes and cars being flooded by Hurricane Florence, emergency personnel also had to deal with several house fires.

Grifton firefighters fought at least two separate fires last week. In one particular fire, they received assistance from two good Samaritans.

According to Pitt County 911, calls for ta house fire at 6727 Highland Blvd. came in last Tuesday at 11 a.m. Grifton Fire Chief Justin Johnson said that the fire most likely began from a generator that malfunctioned, however that detail has not yet been confirmed.

The blaze, which was contained mostly to a closet in an attached garage, drew the attention of two unidentified women who were riding by the home. Johnson said the two women assisted getting the home’s residents — a couple who are believed to be in their 80s — out of their home and to the front yard.

The man and woman were transported to Vidant Medical Center, but were uninjured. On Wednesday afternoon, the couple’s son-in-law said the couple was staying in Greenville with family members and that they were shaken up by the incident.

Crews from Grifton, Ayden and Winterville Fire Departments all responded to the fire, Johnson said. Grifton Police Chief Brian Silva and another officer also donned turnout gear and helped battle the blaze, he said.

The home received very little damage and the fire was extinguished in less than 10 minutes, Johnson said.

Town manager Mark Warren lauded the two unidentified women for their heroism in getting the elderly couple out of the home.

“We would like to find out who these women are so we can thank them and recognize their heroic efforts,” Warren said.

Another call for service included a stove fire, Johnson said.

The stove fire took place at a home on Mayfair Court on Wednesday, Johnson said. He said that someone had been cooking before the power went off and failed to turn off the stove. When power was restored, the item on the stove heated up and exploded. No one was injured in the incident.

Grifton firefighters also assisted with removing trees and other debris from roadways and helped Grifton Police with road closures.

Johnson said Hurricane Matthew had prepared his team well for Florence.

“We kind of knew what to expect,” Johnson said. “We knew what areas to target and who we needed to evacuate so they weren’t put in a bad situation. We spent time evacuating people who lived in flash flood areas.”

Unlike with Hurricane Matthew, no water rescues had to be performed due to Hurricane Florence. The Grifton Fire Department used its new high rise emergency vehicle to transport residents to higher ground.

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