Raging fire destroys block of large waterfront homes on NC coast

A least seven homes were heavily damaged or destroyed in Surf City after a massive fire spread quickly among four-story structures on the barrier island


By Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

SURF CITY, N.C. — A least seven waterfront homes were heavily damaged or destroyed in Surf City late Sunday after a massive fire spread quickly among four-story structures on the barrier island.

Aerial photos posted on Facebook show least three homes on Atkinson Road near South Shore Drive were reduced to ashes by the fire, which started at about 6 p.m.

Firefighters remained on the scene Monday morning, The Topsail Online Gazette reported.

Video posted online shows orange plumes rising like mushroom clouds over some of the homes, and flames popping up in nearby fields of sea grass. Some witnesses reported on Facebook that they saw explosions.

“Only one house was on fire when I began filming,” Anna McFayden posted on Topsail Area Alerts & News. “Within six minutes, the house beside it was already engulfed and two others were catching fire.”

Surf City officials have not said if anyone was injured, and have not reported on what might have started the fire.

The Surf City Fire Department tweeted out warnings Sunday evening for people to stay away from the area, and reported multiple agencies were responding.

Surf City Fire Chief Allen Wilson told news outlets at least three “single family homes” were burning when his crews arrived, but the fire spread to four additional homes before it could be controlled, according to WWAY.

Tom Haether says he lives in the area and was trying to save his boat from the flames when he noticed “people were trapped at the end of the peninsula,” WECT reported.

“I went to the end of the peninsula, docked there, (and) another boat showed up a little while later and we were able to get people off that wanted to leave,” he told WECT.

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©2019 The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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