February 7th 2019

North Carolina and South Carolina Fire Incidents

CarolinaFireJournal -

02/07/2019 -

Buncombe County: Suspect in Alexander school fire faces several charges, including arson and kidnapping

A suspect has been arrested in the investigation of a fire at a historic school building in Buncombe County. Justin Edward Caristo, 40, of Swannanoa, has been charged with first-degree arson, malicious damage to occupied property by use of an explosive or incendiary device, robbery with a dangerous weapon, second-degree kidnapping and felony breaking and entering. According to one arrest warrant, Caristo broke into a building on Rocky Slope road in Woodfin, where he stole a $250 black trench coat that belonged to Mathew Rees Perry. Another warrant said Caristo "unlawfully, willfully and feloniously" kidnapped Perry. Woodfin Police Cheif Michael J. Dykes said Caristo made Perry drive him to the Earth Fare in Asheville.  



Cigarette sparks fire at Econo Lodge in Eden

A lit cigarette left out sparked a fire at a hotel in Eden, according to the fire department. Firefighters responded at about 1:17 a.m. Thursday morning to the Econo Lodge on Van Buren Road. The fire, which was ruled accidental, forced police to evacuate the building. No one was injured. According the fire department, the building will still be able to operate as there was no serious structural damage.  



Greensboro firefighter turned baker opens Uncle Cheesecake

From Greensboro firefighter to Food Network competitor, Daniel Gray is now adding another title: bakery owner. Gray works full time for the fire department, but during his down time he likes to experiment in the kitchen. He started making creative versions of his favorite dessert, cheesecake. He first shared them with friends and family and then began selling them to customers at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market. Gray got more attention last year when the Food Network invited him to appear on their show "Chopped." Gray finished in second place, but it gave him the confidence to take his culinary skills to the next level. Recently, he opened "Uncle Cheesecake" in High Point. He creates custom made cheesecake in a variety of flavors including key lime, carrot cake, Oreo and much, much more. FOX8 Foodie Shannon Smith stopped by for a taste of the new bakery. Uncle Cheesecake Is just off Highway 68 near Wendover in High Point.  



'Ignorance of the law is no excuse': Columbia Fire Department responds to claims made by CHA director

The Columbia Fire Department is responding to claims made by the Columbia Housing Authority after he said he was not made aware of the change in International Fire Code that requires carbon monoxide detectors in units with fuel-burning appliances. During a special called meeting on Wednesday, CHA Executive Director Gilbert Walker provided an update on relocation efforts as well as the ongoing inspections and installation of carbon monoxide detectors with CHA owned properties. He said the process is ongoing, as crews work to ensure detectors are installed in units across CHA properties with fuel-burning appliances. In addition, CHA oversees 4,000 Section 8 voucher units owned by private landlords. During the special meeting, the board authorized Walker to hire private contractors to expedite the process of inspecting the units occupied by tenants with vouchers.  



Horry County Council to consider pay scale for public safety employees

Horry County Council members will look into the option of using a pay scale for their public safety employees. Councilman Cam Crawford brought up the idea at Tuesday's Horry County Council meeting. "This, looking into the future, I think would probably be a better system," Crawford said Wednesday. He said the pay scale would be based on time served, rank and cost of living. Crawford said Police Chief Joe Hill, Sheriff Phillip Thompson and Fire Chief Joseph Tanner would be tasked with coming up with a plan on how the scale would work to County Council. Councilman Johnny Vaught agrees it's a good idea. "Cam had a great idea to go ahead and start looking at what are the options," Vaught said.  



Spartanburg PD: Man admits to setting house on fire

Spartanburg police have a man in custody they say set a house on fire on Tuesday. According to an SPD report, police were called to the scene on Crestview Drive around 5:48 p.m. after the fire marshal said he was getting information on a possible suspect for the fire. When police arrived, officers say a woman told them that D'Vonta Stevenson, 22, told her over the phone he wanted to burn the house down. The woman told officers she drove over to the scene and confirmed that with them. Police say Stevenson then returned to the scene and was taken into custody, but officers say he became agitated. When talking to Stevenson, one officer reported that Stevenson said "there was no way that house burned down that fast" while making other comments about the fire and about other people. However, SPD reports he did not want to talk about the fire with the fire marshal.  


Courtesy of Daily Dispatch.
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