Officials suspect lightning caused a fire that broke out early Tuesday morning at an assisted-living facility east of Angier.
All residents – about 30 of them – and staff got out unharmed from Stagecoach Manor Rest Home on Old Stage Road in Harnett County. Angier and Black River Fire Department Chief Zach Lindsey considered the outcome lucky.
“The fire alarm did its job to give them early warning,” Lindsey said. “It’s a high life-hazard facility, meaning there’s more than five or six residents and some may need more time getting out of the facility.”
Most of the damage was limited to one of three corridors at the facility. The other two sections had little to no damage.
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Flames were through the roof when firefighters arrived. Lindsey said the fire and smoke were concentrated in the ceiling, helping those inside escape without injury.
The Coats Grove, Fuquay-Varina and Buies Creek fire departments also responded to the call. Lindsey said Tuesday afternoon the Harnett County fire marshal was still working to confirm what caused the blaze.
The residents were initially taken to nearby Piney Grove Chapel Baptist Church, where Harnett County Emergency Services, the county social services department and the American Red Cross staged an emergency shelter.
Nearly all of them were relocated to other local assisted-living facilities by mid-morning, Lindsey said.