Longtime Rocky Mount Fire Chief to take early retirement
Longtime Rocky Mount Fire Chief Mike Varnell handed in his retirement papers Thursday afternoon. An Edgecombe County native, Varnell became fire chief in 2015 after 26 years with the department. He's retiring earlier than expected, hanging up his hat in April rather than the end of the year. "I was waiting on the city manager to make it public," Varnell said. The Telegram learned of Varnell's decision late Thursday from a source within City Hall. City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney said she is thankful for Varnell's dedicated and unwavering service to the city. "He was pivotal in the department's accreditation and in many other successes," Small-Toney said. "He should be proud of his role as a true leader of the Rocky Mount Fire Department. He will be missed." Assistant Fire Chief Ronnie Raper will serve as interim fire chief.
ROCKY MOUNT TELEGRAM
Two Employees Escape Lexington Warehouse Fire
Two people got out safely from a large warehouse fire in Lexington Wednesday night. The fire started around 5 p.m. at Border Concepts, located on Prospect Street. The building is in an industrial area just off of South Main Street, near the hospital. Lexington Fire Chief Paul Jarrett says two employees discovered smoke in the building, got out, and called 911. Several departments were dispatched to the scene, battling smoke and flames for nearly seven hours.
WFMY-TV CBS 2 GREENSBORO
No injuries reported in Granville County fire
Crews battled a residential fire in Granville County on Friday morning. All residents were out of the two-story building, at 3183 Graham Sherron Road, authorities said. Authorities said the fire was coming out of the attic. Wake County officials said Granville County had asked for mutual aid. The Brassfield fire chief said two dozen firefighters from four departments responded. The family is staying with friends.
WRAL-TV CBS 5 RALEIGH
New Hanover County: First responders to launch Explorer Post Program aimed at mentoring teens
New Hanover County Fire Rescue is starting a new program aimed at mentoring teens ages 14-18 throughout the year. The Explorer Post Program will teach youth about firefighting by participating in activities and training. An open house will kick off the program on Monday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Murrayville Fire Station 17, located at 5901 Murrayville Rd. in Wilmington. The event is free and will show teens what they can expect with the program. Participants can use virtual reality goggles to tour a house destroyed by fire, learn hands-only CPR and learn "stop the bleed" techniques. Attendees will also be able to try on firefighter gear and extinguish a fire with training props. "The Explorer Post Program provides young women and men interested in firefighting first-hand experience and one-on-one mentorship to discover their future in a safe and controlled setting," said New Hanover Fire Rescue Chief Donnie Hall.
WECT-TV CHANNEL 6
Firefighters: Nobody entrapped inside completely burnt mobile home in Cross Hill
Fire crews were battling a Thursday evening blaze that ripped through a structure in Cross Hill. Tipsters told FOX Carolina the structure is located on Midway School Road. A viewer also sent in dramatic photos of the blaze from earlier in the evening. Firefighters with the Laurens County fire service tell FOX Carolina they were called in around 7 p.m. for the fire at a mobile home and that somebody was possibly entrapped. However, firefighters say nobody was inside. The home is considered a total loss, and fire crews are still investigating what caused the fire. The scene was expected to be active up until 11 p.m. Thursday night.
WHNS-TV FOX 21
Fatal Santee tanker truck fire shuts down Hwy. 301 near I-95
One person is dead after a massive tractor trailer turned over and caught fire. It happened on Highway 301 near Interstate 95 around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. The accident led authorities to close a portion of U.S. Hwy. 301 near its junction with Interstate 95 near the town of Santee. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the driver of the overturned tractor trailer sustained fatal injuries and died. Highway Patrol says the tractor trailer was traveling northbound on Highway 301 when it collided with another car exiting onto the highway. That's when the tractor trailer overturned and caught fire. The two passengers in the other car were not injured.
WCIV-TV ABC 4
'Their dedication...is second to none': Summerville Rotary celebrates local first responders
Four local first responders were honored for their bravery, community engagement and "service above self" Thursday during the Summerville Rotary Club's annual awards event for the uniformed men and women. "Their dedication to our community's protection and safety is second to none," said Rotary President David Powell. "So often the citizens...take for granted the tireless efforts of our first responders to make sure our quality of life is secured through their desire to be the best they can be in their profession." The recipients, chosen by their individual departments for 2018, received the honorable recognition primarily for their outstanding work ethics and character traits, highlighting them above their peers.
SUMMERVILLE JOURNAL SCENE