Flames raze Sanford home
Flames engulfed one home and damaged at least one other residence Wednesday afternoon at the intersection of Winterwind Circle and Windjammer Court, but no injuries resulted from the blaze.
Authorities received the call at about 3:20 p.m. and responded to a fully involved fire at 3416 Winterwind Circle. According to Sanford Fire Chief Wayne Barber, the owners, identified as Tom and Sylvia Waldo, were said to be out of town.
The couple are members of Turner's Chapel, said Pastor Bruce MacInnes, and were at UNC for a medical appointment Wednesday afternoon. Although a grandson and other relatives visit often, the pastor said, the home was empty at the time of the fire.
"No one was there, so we rejoice in the Lord and thank him for that," MacInnes said. "But the house is gone; there is nothing left to it. A neighbor said it didn't take long for it to be engulfed, which tells you if they had been in it, they may not have escaped."
Several neighbors and others watched as fire and police personnel worked the scene. Deanna Harris, who was visiting friends in the neighborhood, said she saw smoke and called 911.
"It engulfed it," Harris said. "It was gone just like that."
Besides destroying one home, the blaze also melted siding and singed a fence at a neighboring house. Crews also inspected other residences the vicinity, to ensure that the damage had been contained, and Barber said firefighters put out a resulting small brush fire in the woods nearby.
In addition, Barber said there was a 100-pound gas cylinder in the rear of the Waldo's house, "and we had to deal with that as well." He said the cause of the fire, and where it originated, were not clear as of Wednesday evening.
Just before 5 p.m., he said, "We've got it contained now to where its not affecting other residents other than smoke," he said.
The Red Cross was on the scene, and MacInnes said the couple have several family members in town and "a whole church full of friends" to assist them.
"Between all of them, I'm sure they'll be well cared for," MacInnes said. "We'll have to see what the needs are, and go from there."