ROWLAND — A fire that severely injured a woman may have been captured on video, authorities say.
A videotape surfaced after Susan Woods was severely burned during a blaze that destroyed the control tower at 710 Drag Strip at about 2:20 p.m. on Saturday.
“The video supposedly shows the fire starting. I’ll watch it today and hopefully it gives me a little insight. It should help us understand what went on,” said sheriff’s Lt. Brian Duckworth, a fire investigator.
Woods was initially taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center. She was later transferred to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where she is in serious but stable condition, said Duckworth.
The fire destroyed the upstairs control booth and lower level concession stand, according to Duckworth. The cause of the fire is not known, but Duckworth said Woods was cooking with fryers and grease.
“We want to make sure the fire-suppression system worked. Right now we aren’t sure if it even activated,” Duckworth said..
Excavation of the site will begin once the drag strip’s insurance company issues an approval.
“I’ve made contact with what I think is the right insurance company and we will hopefully get the necessary equipment to figure out what happened on Saturday,” Duckworth said. “We need to get a back hoe to remove debris before we can assess what started the fire.”
The owners, Jerry Dean and Edith Oxendine, were getting ready for a race when the fire began. Oxendine suffered burns on one arm and her face while trying to help Woods and was also treated at the Burn Center. Two other employees were inside the tower when the fire started but escaped unharmed.