Identities of Two Firefighters Killed Released
ROWAN COUNTY: Identities of Two Firefighters Killed Released
Fri Mar 07 2008 15:46
SALISBURY – Two firefighters were killed and three others injured fighting a massive blaze at a business in Salisbury early Friday.One of the fallen men died at the scene and was draped with an American flag as he was loaded into the ambulance. Other firefighters removed their helmets as they stood solemnly by outside the burning Salisbury Millwork building.
A second firefighter died at the hospital. Fire Chief Bob Parnell identified the men as 40-year-old Victor Eisler and 19-year-old Justin Monroe. He said both were Salisbury city firefighters who were part of the hose team that was first to respond to the blaze along with five other crews. They are our friends, brothers, our buddies, and we’re certainly going to miss both of them, he said. Parnell said Capt. Rick Barkley, supervisor of the hose crew, also received second and possibly third degree burns in the fire and was taken to Rowan Regional Medical Center before being transferred to North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem for treatment. Parnell said he is expected to be released by Friday night. Others were injured during rescue attempts. At least two are being treated for first and second degree burns at Rowan Regional Medical Center. Parnell said many rescue crews tried to get to the fallen men. They were very gallant and brave, he said. The five-alarm fire destroyed the Salisbury Millwork building at the intersection of Julian Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. More than 100 firefighters, with the help of a steady rain, reduced the inferno to smoldering rubble. The fire burned uncontrollably for hours after it began around 7 a.m. Workers at the woodworking business said they arrived, saw the flames and called 911. Flames burst through the roof shortly after 9 a.m. and the firefighters inside were evacuated. Explosions and walls tumbling could be heard outside around 10 a.m. Surrounding towns and the city of Charlotte sent in fire crews to help pour water on the fire. Charlotte’s chapter of the Red Cross also sent support to the scene. Salisbury, a town of about 27,000 people, is about 40 miles north of Charlotte. At this point, fire investigators have no idea how the blaze began. The Salisbury Post is reporting the fire began in the basement, which contained storage, shelving, a conference room and many of the company’s records. The site has a history of fires, according to the Salisbury Post. The building used to be Salisbury Lumber and Supply, and a fire there in 1959 was called the most spectacular and damaging fire in Salisbury history. Another fire in 1998 gutted a portion of Salisbury Lumber and Supply. The original plant on the site, Arey Brick and Lumber Co., was destroyed by fire in 1939.Salisbury Millwork was founded in 1947 and moved to its current location in the last decade. It’ a family-owned milling firm that makes laminate cabinets, moldings and other products. The firm employs about 35 workers.
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