RED SPRINGS — A Robeson County firefighter is recovering today after he fell nearly 17 feet while working to extinguish a fire at Robinwood Apartments in Red Springs, according to Red Springs Fire Chief Tim Beasley.
Tony Summers, a volunteer with the Smith’s Township department, broke both of his ankles in the fall from a ladder that was extended to a gable on the roof of a building, Beasley said. He was treated and released at Southeastern Regional Medical Center. It is unclear why he fell, but Beasley said his boots may have become slick after walking in mud that covered the ground near the building where the fire began. There had been heavy rain earlier in the evening on Wednesday, shortly before the fire began.
No residents of the apartment complex were injured in the blaze, which was contained in 15 minutes, but those who live in building No. 1 were evacuated overnight while investigators worked to determine the cause of the fire that caused as much as $20,000 damage to unit 1C, where the fire started, and an adjacent apartment.
According to Beasley, Robeson County Fire Marshal Stephanie Chavis determined that the flames were sparked by a small grease fire. The blaze charred the wall behind the stove, made its way through the firewall and into the vaulted roof of the building, he said.
Firefighters from Red Springs, Smith’s Township and Shannon responded when the call came in at 9:46 p.m. Evacuated residents, who were given vouchers from the American Red Cross, were expected to return to Robinwood Apartments today, but not to the units that were damaged.
In an unrelated fire, the American Red Cross is also offering assistance to a Lumberton family, according to Carol Ann Lentz, the executive director of the organization’s Scotland and Robeson chapters.
A mother and three children were displaced after a blaze damaged parts of their mobile home, according to Lumberton Fire Chief Paul Ivey.
Ivey said the fire at Lot 28 at 800 Old Whiteville Road started in a bedroom of the home sometime before 9:30 p.m. and extended over to the living room and another bedroom in the house.
“It is under investigation at this time,” Ivey said. “We had the fire under control within 20 minutes of getting there.”
The home, which belongs to Tara Dent, had an estimated $6,000 worth of damage. Ivey said Dent and the children were not at home when the fire occurred.
Abbi Overfelt works for Civitas Media as the editor of The Red Springs Citizen and The St. Pauls Review. Adelina Shee works for Civitas Media as a staff writer for The Robesonian.