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Archive for February, 2014

Training, preparedness credited for saving deputy fire chief, wife from fire

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Little is left of a New Hanover County home after a fire early this morning. The victims are a Carolina Beach firefighter and his wife.

Thanks to years of training and the help of some neighbors, Deputy Fire Chief Grainger Soward and his wife were able to escape from the third story of there home here on river road.

“They were on the top balcony screaming ’cause they couldn’t get down,” neighbor Jeffrey Herring said.

The couple woke up to smoke filling their home. An investigator says Soward’s training and preparedness definitely came into play.

“Smoke detectors save lives,” New Hanover Co. Deputy Fire Marshal Ray Griswold said. “They also had a rescue ladder to get out of the second floor, which they used, so there were a lot of different fire safety features that were used.”

After the Sowards used their escape ladder to get to the lower balcony, neighbors stepped in to get them down.

“We got them and moved them away,” Herring said. “They had gas and propane tanks and everything in the garage. They had 30,000 rounds of ammunition and the fire department guy said 10,000 of them went off, so they were all going off when we were moving them.”

The fire destroyed just about everything the couple owned.

The flames also melted the vinyl siding on a house next door.

Investigators have ruled out arson, but they are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.

A fund has been set up for the Soward family through the county courthouse, where his wife works. Anyone that would like to donate can visit any First Citizen’s Bank in New Hanover County.

(Fire video courtesy John Bellm)


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Fraud prevention workshop scheduled

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Cape Fear Elder Abuse Prevention Network will host a free workshop focusing on scams and fraud

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My Reporter – Will two ice-damaged live oaks on South 17th Street need to be removed?

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Two of the live oaks directly in front on Halyburton Park suffered major damage from the ice storm.

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New Hanover High student facing drug, weapon charges

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

A New Hanover High School student was arrested with heroin and a handgun during a night basketball game

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UPDATE: Deputy Fire Chief and family escape from burning home

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Firefighters are still on the scene where a Wilmington home caught fire, forcing residents to escape out of a window early this morning.

Both Wilmington and New Hanover County firefighters responded to the blaze at 8453 River Road just before 2 a.m. Dispatchers say they got the initial 911 call from neighbors.

Firefighters say several people were inside when the flames broke out, but that they were able to escape through a window of the house. They say surrounding homes were also damaged by the fire, along with a couple of cars and campers.

Crews shut down part of River Road in the early morning hours, as crews worked to extinguish the flames. There’s no word yet on what may have caused the fire, but New Hanover County Fire crews are investigating. No injuries have been reported.

Video Courtesy: John Bellm


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