WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – Three fire departments from two counties battled a two-alarm fire at a home in Wake Forest Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
No one was home at the time of the fire. Two cats and three dogs were rescued, but one of the cats gave fire crews a difficult time.
The call came in around 3 p.m. for the fire along the 7400 block of Oriole Drive.
Firefigthers said they could see smoke from several miles away as they drove to the home.
“When that happens, we know we have something,” said Wake Forest Battalion Chief Edward Barrett.
Eric Lambert lives next door and raced home after a neighbor alerted him to the fire.
“I was shocked. As I came walking up the street, when I saw the smoke coming up, I was afraid the trees were on fire. That’s what really panicked me,” said Lambert.
Barrett said there were some challenges fighting the fire. There are no fire hydrants in the neighborhood, so crews had to use portable water tanks called drop tanks.
“In a rural setting, what we have to do is truck in that water that we need to fight the fire with us. It takes a little time to set that up,” said Barrett.
Another challenge, as firefighters were attacking the fire inside the conditions started to worsen. The roof collapsed, and fire spread from the attic to the second floor.
“As they went to approach that attic it started to collapse so they had to back out a little,” said Barrett.
Crews were able to get back into the home and get the fire under control.
Barrett says firefighters rescued the homeowner’s two cats and three dogs.
“One cat attacked a number of fireman, but they were able to overcome the cat and they were able to get it out of the house,” he said.
Lambert and his wife watched as crews were well into the evening, making sure to knock out any hot spots so nothing rekindled overnight.
“The neighbors, we feel sorry for,” said Lambert. “Everything is safe and that is the most important thing, but there’s a lot of emotion.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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